We've pledged our support for this year's CO Awareness Week (18-24 November 2019), to raise awareness about the dangers of carbon monoxide.
CO Awareness Week is an annual safety week led by Energy UK raising awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide, and aims to ensure that we all know how to protect ourselves from the ‘silent killer’. We’re encouraging everyone to learn about the dangers of CO and what symptoms to look out for.
According to Energy UK, around 30 people die each year from CO poisoning and another 4,000 are treated in hospital for symptoms. CO can be omitted from everyday household appliances, such as a poorly maintained or faulty boilers or gas cookers. It is known as the ‘silent killer’ because you can’t see it, smell it or taste it, which is why it is so important to have an audible carbon monoxide alarm installed.
This year, we’re focusing on how you can keep yourself, friends, family and pets safe from the dangers of CO – particularly those who are going on holiday, have rental properties or are vulnerable.
CO Awareness Week is also an opportunity for us to highlight the work we do all year round to teach people, including school children, about the symptoms of CO poisoning and gas safety. And, working alongside the other gas network companies, promoting our award-winning locking cooker valve. This is a simple safety device that’s making a massive difference to some of our most vulnerable customers, such as people with Alzheimer’s or autism. What’s more, we offer this life-changing service for free.
The valve is fitted to existing gas cooker pipework, and when the valve is locked, the gas supply to the cooker is stopped. This eliminates the risk of the cooker being unintentionally turned on or left on. The carer or relative can easily turn the valve on when the cooker is required using the key, enabling the gas cooker to be used safely.
Not only does the locking cooker valve help vulnerable customers retain their independence, it also provides reassurance to family, friends and carers.
Our Director of Industry Liaison Chris Bielby said : “Every year in the UK CO poisoning continues to cause fatalities, which is very sad indeed. Over the last three years, nine people in the UK have died due to carbon monoxide poisoning. Unfortunately, these deaths could have been prevented by getting gas appliances, such as boilers, serviced each year by a gas safe engineer and having an audible alarm. We must make sure we’re looking after our friends family members, especially the most vulnerable, and remind them of the importance of having a CO alarm installed in their homes. A CO alarm can be bought for around £20 – and it might just save your life. If you have any concerns about CO in your home, please call the National Gas Emergency Service right away on 0800 111 999.”