16 – 22 November 2015 marks Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week, highlighting the importance of CO detectors and the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.
According to the NHS, every year in the UK over 200 people are admitted to hospital with suspected carbon monoxide poisoning, resulting in approximately 40 deaths. Any solid fuel appliance, for example gas, oil coal or wood can potentially emit carbon monoxide when incomplete combustion occurs.
Carbon monoxide is named ‘the silent killer’ because it is invisible odourless and tasteless. Without a detector, victims could be unaware of the presence of carbon monoxide and, by starving the brain of oxygen, carbon monoxide can cause serious brain damage or death.
The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include:
- Nausea and sickness
- Tiredness and lethargy
- Confusions and loss of coordination
- Stomach pain
- Shortness of breath and difficulty breathing
- Loss of consciousness
- Brain damage
Carbon monoxide is often seen as a problem within the home, but this is not the case. It is true that fireplaces, boilers or gas heaters can be a cause of carbon monoxide poisoning, especially as the cold weather sets in and heating is essential. But carbon monoxide could occur in any public building where a solid fuel appliance burns incompletely or where an appliance emitting fumes, designed for outdoors, is incorrectly used indoors, such as a generator or a barbecue.
As an occupier or building owner, for the many things that you must consider when carrying out a risk assessment of potential hazards that might lead to the harm of a visitor, customer, guest or employee, a carbon monoxide detector should certainly be on your list.
Slater and Gordon principal lawyer, Madelene Holdsworth, commented: “Carbon monoxide poisoning is not just a hazard in the home. You could be poisoned at work, on holiday, or in a public building. Awareness of carbon monoxide is key to reducing the risk of injury from it.”
If you suffer carbon monoxide poisoning and it is not your fault, Slater and Gordon Lawyers represent people in all types of carbon monoxide poisoning claims. For a free consultation call our no win, no fee solicitors on freephone 0800 916 9046 or contact us online.