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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Carbon monoxide warning following recent incident

19/10/2015

Firefighters are urging people to ensure that they have carbon monoxide detectors fitted in their homes after a device activated, alerting a couple to a potentially life-threatening situation.

“This couple did exactly the right thing. They had a working carbon monoxide detector fitted which alerted them to the situation and potentially saved their lives."

Station Manager, Jason Maudsley

The warning comes following an incident in Glascote, Tamworth, last Wednesday.

Firefighters from Tamworth were called to the property at 10.40pm, following the activation of a carbon monoxide detector, as it was suspected that a couple in their 60s were suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus entered the property and took a reading with specialist gas detection equipment which confirmed carbon monoxide was present. The property was ventilated by firefighters.

The couple received precautionary checks by paramedics at the scene.

Station Manager, Jason Maudsley said: “This couple did exactly the right thing. They had a working carbon monoxide detector fitted which alerted them to the situation and potentially saved their lives.
"Carbon monoxide poisoning can very easily be fatal and the detection of the gas without specialist equipment is virtually impossible as it is both colourless and odourless.

"Carbon monoxide can leak from any gas appliance – including fires and cookers as well as boilers. If you suspect carbon monoxide is leaking into your home, open doors and windows immediately to ventilate, if possible turn off any gas appliances and leave the property.
"If anyone suffers any carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms, which include dizziness, nausea, headaches, vomiting or confusion they should immediately vacate the property and seek medical advice."
Your home may show signs of carbon monoxide. Any one of the following could be a sign that there is carbon monoxide in your home.
• The flame on your cooker should be crisp and blue. Lazy yellow or orange flames mean you need to get your cooker checked
• Dark staining around or on appliances
• Pilot lights that frequently blow out
• Increased condensation inside windows
The Fire Service is unable to provide carbon monoxide alarms however these can be purchased from most DIY stores and larger supermarkets.

If you suspect a gas leak in the home you should contact the gas board however if you feel unwell with potential carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms you should call 999.

For all other non-emergency enquiries contact: 08451 22 11 55 or log onto: www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk or www.direct.gov.uk/firekills. In an emergency dial 999.

ENDS