All rental properties and newly-built homes should have carbon monoxide alarms installed to prevent unnecessary deaths,say lawyers.
Not-for-profit safety campaign group the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) is backing a Bill from High Peak MP Andrew Bingham which would make the alarms compulsory.The Household Safety (Carbon Monoxide Detectors) Bill is due to be debated in the House of Commons on Friday (12 September) ahead of Gas Safety Week (15-21 September).
“We hear of some tragic cases where people have suffered brain injuries, or even died, because of poisonous carbon monoxide from faulty gas appliances circulating in homes undetected,” said APIL president John Spencer.
“You cannot see or smell carbon monoxide. An alarm is your only chance of knowing it is there before it is too late.
“Landlords already have a legal duty to have gas appliances maintained regularly. Mr Bingham is quite right that the additional safeguard in the form of an alarm would be worthwhile,” Mr Spencer went on.
There are around 40 needless deaths a year from carbon monoxide poisoning in England and Wales*.
Gas Safety Week is co-ordinated by Gas Safe Register to raise awareness of the importance of maintaining gas appliances.
The early symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headaches, chest pain, vomiting, dizziness,drowsiness, distorted vision, breathlessness and stomach pain.
“As we head towards winter, it would be easy to mistake the start of carbon monoxide poisoning for the flu,” said Mr Spencer.
“A carbon monoxide alarm in the home is just as necessary as a smoke alarm”.