Be Gas Safe
Reduce Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
You can't see it, taste it or smell it but it can kill quickly and with no warning.
Welcome to the website for a programme delivered by The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents and Gas Safe Charity to raise awareness of the "silent killer" - carbon monoxide - which will see over 13,000 families receiving a free CO alarm and many thousands receiving safety information.
According to the Department of Health, each year in England and Wales, there are approximately 50 accidental deaths, 200 non-fatal poisonings that require hospital admission and 4,000 visits to A&E that result from CO poisoning. Children and older people are particularly at risk.
The "Be Gas Safe" programme has been working to make people aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO) and the steps that can be taken to prevent CO poisoning, such as the need for regular servicing of fuel-burning appliances, good ventilation and the use of audible CO alarms.
With gas appliances and flues that have not been properly installed, maintained or ventilated known to be among the causes of CO poisoning, the key focus of the three-year programme has been to share information and advice about how to stay "gas safe".
The programme has been delivered through over 70 partnerships across the UK who have identified some of the households who will benefit most from receiving a CO alarm and have also raising awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide through a variety of activities and events. The partnerships are now in the final stages of delivering the programme and a full report will appear on this site in the near future. In the meantime, here are a few highlights:
- Over 13,000 CO alarms distributed to vulnerable households
- Over 100,000 Be Gas Safe leaflets distributed
- Over 3 million people reached through the media publicity attracted by the programme
Lives saved as a result of the programme
Read the reports here about families for whom the programme made a real difference.
In Monmouthshire, Wales, an older couple were alerted to the presence of CO fumes in their home after reading a Be Gas Safe CO advice letter.
Family alerted by CO alarm provided by the programme.
Louisa Jenkins has a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm to thank for not just saving her own life but that of her four-year-old daughter Betty too.
The UK's four main gas industry networks joined forces to deliver this year's carbon monoxide conference Knowledge is Power. Every year in the UK, 40 preventable deaths occur due to carbon monoxide poisoning.
Landlords will be required by law to install working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in their properties.
The All Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group (APPCOG) has released a report which aims to bring behavioural insights to poisoning prevention efforts.
Tips on reducing the risk of CO poisoning
- For gas appliances, use a Gas Safe registered engineer for installation and annual services. Always check that an engineer's capabilities, which are listed on the back of his or her identity card, include the job you want doing. If you live in rented property, ask your landlord to show you the property's gas safety record.
- Consult your fuel supplier or professional heating engineer for the regular servicing of other fuel-burning appliances
- Rooms should be well ventilated and chimneys or flues swept regularly
- Fit an audible CO alarm, but remember this should be in addition to the other actions
Know the signs of CO poisoning, which include:
- Prolonged flu-like symptoms; (If other members of the household (including pets) are suffering similar symptoms this may provide further indication that it is CO poisoning)
- Gas appliances burning with orange, instead of blue, flames
- Sooty stains on or near appliances
- Excessive condensation in the room; and coal or wood fires that burn slowly or go out.
Update from Chief Medical Officer: Recognise the symptoms and tackle the cause
The Chief Medical Officer for England, Dame Sally Davis, has issued updated advice on carbon monoxide safety to GPs, Hospital staff, Public Health consultants and others. This provides important background information for those involved in the Be Gas Safe programme and anyone working to promote carbon monoxide awareness.
Click here for more information.
PLEASE NOTE: Unfortunately we are not able to deal with individual requests for carbon monoxide alarms.
Katie Haines video
A new video has been produced by the Katie Haines Trust highlighting the importance of fitting a carbon monoxide alarm. The short video depicts a father taking all the safety precautions necessary around the home to protect the family, except one. The video carries a powerful message and will be useful to anyone involved in promoting awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide.
To view the video go to: www.katiehaines.com/sounding-the-alarm-video.asp. It is also available on Youtube. The Katie Haines trust has asked that the link to this video is circulated as widely as possible.
Join the campaign to change the law and make the fitting of Carbon Monoxide alarms mandatory in England and Wales - pledge your support today http://www.no-to-co.co.uk.
Get Gas Safe
A website supporting gas safety education programme for children aged 9 to 11 years old has been launched. Created by Gas Safe Charity, and supported by Electrical Safety First and RoSPA, Get Gas Safe makes it easy for teachers to equip their pupils aged 9 to 11 with the information that they need to stay safe.
The website, www.getgassafe.org.uk is packed with materials to help teach children about gas safety, carbon monoxide awareness and general home safety. These include lesson plans, checklists and activity sheets. There is an opportunity to take an interactive tour round a house and put right common home safety hazards and a set of lively videos introducing the Perils, a family who have a lot to learn about safety around their home.
Get Gas Safe was launched with a schools theatre tour, introducing students to the Perils, and details of how to book the tour are also included on the website