Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week, which began on 19 November, aims to raise awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide and the importance of maintaining any gas, oil, wood or coal-run appliances.
The NLA reminds landlords that they are required, by law, to have all gas appliances checked every 12 months, and provide the inspection report to the tenant. Using an illegal gas fitter can put lives at risk, only a Gas Safe registered engineer should carry out gas work.
Faulty appliances can cause carbon monoxide (CO) leaks. CO is an odourless, colourless and tasteless gas which is highly poisonous and can kill within hours, or cause serious illness through long-term exposure. Exposure to carbon monoxide reduced the blood’s capacity to carry oxygen, causing the body’s vital organs to fail. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headaches, dizziness, nausea, breathlessness and loss of consciousness.
In addition to carrying out annual Gas Safety checks, landlords can protect their tenants from the threat of carbon monoxide poisoning by installing carbon monoxide detectors in their properties. The detector will warn tenants of a leak. Landlords should also show their tenants where the emergency gas shut off valve is, in case of emergency. Tenants can contact the gas emergency number on 0800 111 999 if they suspect an appliance is faulty or dangerous.
Someone who knows the dangers of carbon monoxide first hand is Dave Craig from Wimborne in Dorset. He told his story:
“I was experiencing continual headaches when using my motorhome. A local landlord gave me a carbon monoxide detector, suggesting it could be something to do with the gas fire. I put the detector in the cupboard and planned to fit it the next day but before I had chance, I was woken early in the morning by the detectors alarm. Carbon monoxide levels must have been high as the detector sensed the gas even in a closed cupboard.
“I now make a point of telling other people about the dangers of carbon monoxide. I had a lucky escape”.
Richard Price, director of operations at the National Landlords Association, said:
“It’s vital that landlords are aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide. They should look to have their gas appliances checked every year by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
“Landlords would also be wise to fit carbon monoxide detectors in each of their properties – it could be the difference between life and death.”
In support of Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week, the NLA’s gas safety advice and guidance will be free to access. Landlords can find out more about their gas safety obligations by visiting the NLA’s Online Library.
Landlords wishing to purchase a carbon monoxide detector can do so from the NLA’s Online Shop.