Wales & West Utilities is using this year’s Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week to launch a campaign that encourages young people to understand the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO) and the steps they can take to stay safe this winter.
Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week runs from 22-28 November and is organised by the All Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group (APPCOG). It aims to raise awareness and help consumers and the public to wise up to carbon monoxide.
As part of the campaign, Wales & West Utilities is specifically targeting 16–25-year-olds, with a simple message – Stay safe from CO or it could be ‘Game Over’.
Carbon monoxide is the silent killer: a poisonous gas that you can’t smell, can’t taste, can’t see or hear. It is produced when any fossil fuel like coal, wood, oil or natural gas doesn’t burn properly.
Breathing it in can make you unwell, and it can kill you if you’re exposed to high levels. The gas is also associated with a range of health complications, including low birth weight in babies, brain damage and heart disease.
Carbon monoxide poisoning kills 50 people a year in England & Wales and hospitalises many more. In the UK, there are more than 4,000 visits to Accident and & Emergency for treatment of CO poisoning – which can often lead to lasting neurological damage.
Symptoms of CO poisoning include headaches, tiredness, nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, shortness of breath and, in extreme cases, loss of consciousness.
To stay safe Wales & West Utilities is urging people to:
Know the symptoms.
Get yourself an audible carbon monoxide alarm.
Make sure you get your gas appliances serviced annually – that includes gas boilers, gas cookers and gas water heaters.
In a medical emergency, don’t delay, call 999 immediately.
Clive Book, Head of Emergency Services at Wales & West Utilities, explains:
“Young people aged 16-25 are often leaving their family home for the first time: going to university, setting up their own home or starting a family. Research shows they are less likely than other age groups to have an audible carbon monoxide alarm, and few realise the importance of having their gas appliances regularly serviced.
“We do everything we can to raise awareness of the deathly dangers of carbon monoxide – the ‘silent killer’.
“We urge everyone to stay gas safe by getting an audible carbon monoxide alarm and be sure to get all gas appliances serviced annually including gas boilers, cookers and water heaters…. or it could be Game Over.”
You can find out more about Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week on Twitter, using the hashtag #COAW21.
Barry Sheerman MP, Co-Chair of APCOG said:
“I am urging everyone to understand the dangers posed by carbon monoxide. Each year in November, Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week is held to raise awareness of what you can do to stay safe and protect your family. Number one is getting your appliances serviced and investing in a carbon monoxide alarm. But if that’s not affordable for you, there are still simple things you can do to stay safe. Learn the signs that carbon monoxide could be around and save the Gas Emergency Service number 0800 111 999 on to your phone today – it could save a life!”
You can find out more about the campaign and how to keep yourself safe from the threat of Carbon monoxide at wwutilities.co
Wales & West Utilities, the gas emergency and pipeline service, brings energy to 7.5m people across the south west of England and Wales. If you smell gas, or suspect the presence of carbon monoxide, call us on 0800 111 999 straight away, and our engineers will be there to help any time of day or night. Before visiting, we’ll ask you to let us know if you or anyone in your household, is experiencing Coronavirus symptoms or self-isolating. We’ll still come and help you: but our teams will take some additional precautions to keep us all safe.
Notes to editors
Picture caption: Wales & West Utilities urges young people to take simple steps before its ‘Game Over’
Notes to editors
The signs of carbon monoxide poisoning to look out for:
Look out for:
Your gas appliances burning a floppy yellow or orange, not crisp and blue.
Pilot lights on boilers frequently blowing out.
Extra condensation inside your windows.
Soot or yellow stains around appliances.
All of these could be signs of a problem. If you suspect carbon monoxide, follow these three simple steps:
Open all doors and windows
Move outside into fresh air
Call the Gas Emergency Service on 0800 111 999 immediately