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Installers called to support change to law on carbon monoxide alarms
Published:  22 May, 2014

Installers are being urged to sign an e-petition, which aims to save lives by sparking a change in the law on carbon monoxide alarms.

Plumb Center and Honeywell are spearheading the campaign, which is calling for mandatory installation of CO alarms whenever a carbon-burning appliance is installed in England and Wales, as in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Once 100,000 people have backed the call, a debate will be triggered in the House of Commons, bringing a change in the law one step nearer.

Around 40 people a year die from accidental CO poisoning in England and Wales, with around 4,000 admitted to hospital with symptoms that could lead to brain damage and strokes, according to the Health & Safety Executive (HSE).

While 84% of UK homes have smoke detectors, according to the Department for Communities & Local Government, only around 15% have CO alarms, says the Council for Gas Detection and Environmental Monitoring (CoGDEM).

Because you can’t see, taste or smell CO, symptoms of CO poisoning like headaches, nausea and dizziness can be confused with the flu. The best way for people to protect themselves is to have any carbon-burning appliance regularly serviced and maintained and an audible CO alarm professionally installed.

“One death from CO poisoning, is one too many,” said Plumb Center’s Gail van Dijk. “We know thousands are admitted to hospital each year but the true level of poisoning isn’t fully known.”

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the support from trade bodies, boiler manufacturers, politicians and ordinary people. Now we must convert that support into names on our petition. We hope that as an industry we can come together, and stop these needless deaths.”

To sign the e-petition, visit www.no-to-co.co.uk