Plumbers merchant launches e-petition to change carbon monoxide law

Plumb Center and manufacturer Honeywell are spearheading a campaign to change the law on carbon monoxide (CO) alarms and are urging installers to back them.

Plumbers merchant launches e-petition to change carbon monoxide law

The plumbers merchant want the law changed so that an alarm would be required in England and Wales whenever a carbon-burning appliance is installed, something that is already law in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Eighty-four per cent of UK homes have smoke detectors, according to the Department for Communities and Local Government but only around 15% have CO alarms, says the Council for Gas Detection and Environmental Monitoring (CoGDEM).

Around 40 people a year die from accidental CO poisoning in England and Wales – with around 4,000 admitted to hospital with symptoms that could lead to brain damage and strokes, according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

“One death from CO poisoning, is one too many,” said Plumb Center’s Gail van Dijk. “We know thousands are admitted to hospital each year but the true level of poisoning isn’t fully known.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the support from trade bodies, boiler manufacturers, politicians and ordinary people. Now we must convert that support into names on our petition. We hope that as an industry we can come together, and stop these needless deaths.”

As CO is a silent killer, the merchant claims the best way for people to protect themselves is to have any carbon-burning appliance regularly serviced and maintained but a professionally installed audible CO alarm, could save their life.

The merchant is hoping that 100,000 people will sign the petition, so that a debate can be triggered in the House of Commons.

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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