A stark warning was issued to UK landlords from the AA’s Home Emergency Response service over boilers working harder in rental properties during the coming winter months
Research revealed today by the AA’s Home Emergency Response service shows that under 45% of landlords say they have a carbon monoxide (CO) detector installed in their rental property.
This is less than half the number who have a smoke alarm in their own home (97%).
Whilst the number of rental properties with smoke alarms is encouraging, there is still work to be done to bring this to 100%.
However, the proportion of PRS rental properties without CO2 detectors gives significant cause for alarm, and increasing the number of these could help arrest a worrying trend.
Analysis of figures from the Health and Safety Executive shows that in the last five years, the number of incidents of carbon monoxide poisoning has risen by 90%.
Although the number of fatalities has remained relatively stable, with provisional figures for 2010/11 showing 14 deaths, the number of non-fatal cases of carbon monoxide poisoning has almost doubled between 2006/07 and 2010/11 – from 184 to 343.
As carbon monoxide is colourless, odourless and tasteless it is very difficult to detect without a monitor. With the initial symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning similar to those of flu it is also often hard to identify when someone is affected, particularly in winter.
Carbon Monoxide detectors manufactured after November 2006 should conform to EN50291.
Tom Stringer, head of the AA Home Emergency Response service, said: “Carbon monoxide is known as the silent killer as it is so hard to spot. One of the main sources of carbon monoxide in the home is faulty gas appliances such as boilers. We would encourage all homeowners to get their appliances serviced, before the hard work of the winter really kicks in. They should also fit a CO detector which are relatively inexpensive but make sure they conform to the relevant British Standard. They should also be positioned correctly in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. And as with any detector, they should be regularly checked to maintain their effectiveness.”
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