RESIDENTS are being encouraged to protect themselves against the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning as Teignbridge District Council throws its support behind Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week.
The Council has joined the campaign to help make homes safer and is selling household CO alarms throughout the week.
CO-Awareness Week, which started on November 19, is being run by CO-Awareness, a charity that was set up to support victims of carbon monoxide poisoning and increase awareness of the deadly gas.
Every year thousands of people across the UK are diagnosed with carbon monoxide poisoning which can be caused by unsafe central heating systems, badly fitted or poorly serviced carbon-based fuel appliances, blocked chimney flues and poor ventilation.
Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless poisonous gas that, in large quantities, can kill very quickly. Anyone can be affected by it, often mistaking the symptoms for flu.
There are some simple steps than can be taken to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning particularly during the winter months when the risk is higher due to increased home heating use. Measures include making sure all appliances and heating sources are serviced one a year by a qualified engineer and keeping chimneys swept and checked.
Teignbridge is urging people to buy a CO alarm. The alarms cost £20 and can be purchased from the reception of its Forde House head offices.
The Council is also encouraging private landlords to install them in their rental properties.
Cllr Kevin Lake, Teignbridge District Council’s Executive Spokesman for Environmental Health, said:
“Carbon monoxide can’t be seen or smelt and CO poisoning can cause brain damage, coma and death and tragically it can happen within minutes.
“It’s so important that people take steps to protect themselves from it. A CO alarm costing £20 is a small price to pay – and it could save lives. We’d also encourage people to get their gas and wood burning appliances checked if they haven’t done so this year.
“We understand the importance of making sure homes are safe and we hope that by offering these for sale from our reception, people will take advantage and buy one.”