Tenants in South East at risk of the silent killer

A carbon monoxide (CO) alarm SUS-180121-093917001
A carbon monoxide (CO) alarm SUS-180121-093917001

Nearly 45% of people renting a private property in the South East have not had a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm installed by their landlord, research by campaign group Project SHOUT has uncovered.

The report also revealed that nearly 50% of private rented tenants across the UK have not had a CO alarm installed by their landlord, with a further 10% of tenants not sure whether they had a CO alarm or not.

This means that nearly 60% of the UK’s nine million private tenants may well be unprotected from the deadly gas that kills 50 people each year.

This revelation follows a recent study that unveiled only 46% of UK university students living in rented accommodation have a CO alarm installed.

The poll also revealed that half of UK university students don’t recognise the symptoms of CO poisoning, which include dizziness, headaches and nausea, and are twice as likely to think they have a hangover or the flu, with the latter being particularly relevant during the winter months.

This is despite legislation coming into force more than 24 months ago that demands landlords fit CO alarms in properties where solid fuel burning appliances are present.

The legislation however does not cover gas appliances, such as a gas boiler or gas hob.

Eddie Hughes, MP for Walsall North and Project SHOUT ambassador, is proposing a change in the law to ensure it becomes mandatory for landlords to install CO alarms in all properties, not just those with a solid fuel burning appliance. Carbon monoxide is produced when fuel does not burn properly, usually from badly fitted or poorly maintained appliances.

Common sources of CO are gas and oil boilers, gas hobs and fires, log burners, open fires and barbecues.

Make sure your gas appliances are initially installed and serviced regularly by a qualified GAS SAFE registered engineer.

Know the symptoms, they are often mistaken for something else, like the flu.

Get an alarm. It’s the only way to detect the deadly gas.

Know what to do if your alarm goes off.