“It is important that everyone is aware of the dangers of Carbon Monoxide,” said Stuart McMillan MSP welcoming Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week (which runs from 16th – 23rd November).
There are approximately 50 accidental deaths per year in the UK from Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning and over 1,100 cases of recorded admissions to hospital – which can often lead to lasting neurological damage. Many more people are likely to suffer unknowingly from CO poisoning and the impact on health may well be underestimated. Those most at risk are the under 14s and the over 65s, with these age groups accounting for 31% and 25% of these hospital admissions respectively.
Guidance issued by the Scottish Government will mean that from 1st December 2015 all privately rented properties with fuel-burning appliances have to be equipped with carbon monoxide detectors and alarms.
Research released last year by Shelter Scotland and Scottish Gas highlighted that 5% of renters in Scotland said they had suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning while around 51 per cent of renters had had a safety check and certificate provided by their landlord.
Stuart McMillan MSP added:
“Carbon monoxide is a silent killer and is particularly dangerous to children, elderly people, expectant mothers and people with health problems.
“Around 10% of Inverclyde’s population live in the private rented sector and it’s absolutely vital that landlords who haven’t fitted CO alarms now comply with the law. They need to make this change to their properties to protect their tenants and stop putting people’s lives at risk. Landlords also need to ensure that annual checks such as a gas safety check are carried out.”
Carbon monoxide is colourless, odourless and tasteless. At worst its effects are fatal, so the sooner it is detected the better. Carbon monoxide is mainly leaked by faulty or badly-maintained fuel-burning appliances (like gas, coal and wood) where there is insufficient ventilation.