CO awareness

To mark Carbon Monoxide (CO) Awareness Week in the UK, Wales & West Utilities is giving householders across the local area information on the risks that carbon monoxide poisoning poses to their families.

Wales & West Utilities, the gas emergency and pipeline service that serves Wales and the south west of England, has issued guidance which contains five simple steps for people to follow to keep themselves and their families safe from the deathly dangers of carbon monoxide.

The steps are:

  • Get a CO alarm. Fit it correctly. Test it regularly.
  • Get your gas appliances serviced regularly. Remember this should only be by a Gas Safe Registered Engineer – it’s the law.
  • Know the symptoms of CO poisoning: Headaches, dizziness, tiredness and confusion.
  • Keep an eye on your gas appliances. Flames should be crisp and blue.
  • Save the National Gas Emergency Service Number – 0800 111 999 – in your phone. Call it immediately if you smell gas or suspect CO poisoning.

The company has launched this potentially lifesaving information during Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week so that people can keep those who are nearest and dearest to them safe from the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week takes place annually during the third week of November (21 – 25 November). It aims to highlight the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning and reduce incidents, fatalities and ill health related to the poisonous gas.

In the UK alone each year around 40 people die and over 4,000 are injured as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Wales & West Utilities Head of Emergency Service, Clive Book says:

“With temperatures falling and people switching on their central heating or gas fires now is the time for them to take action to protect themselves from the dangers of carbon monoxide. It’s known as ‘the silent killer’ because you can’t see, smell or taste it and it kills 40 people a year across the UK while injuring thousands more.

“Each year we make over 2,000 visits to properties where we find evidence of carbon monoxide – and put simply, following these steps could save you and your family’s lives.”  

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are often confused with flu, especially in winter, as they include severe headaches, a sore throat, dizziness, coughing, feeling sick, and a general lack of energy.

And if you do suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, this is what to do:

  • Turn appliances off
  • Open doors and windows
  • Get everyone outside into fresh air immediately
  • Call the National Gas Emergency Service on 0800 111 999
  • And if there is a medical emergency, don’t delay, ‘phone 999

More information on carbon monoxide poisoning can be found on Wales & West Utilities’ website

Wales & West Utilities, the gas emergency and pipeline service that serves Wales and the south west of England, puts customers at the heart of the business and is rated the top utility company in the UK for customer service. If anyone smells gas, thinks they have a gas leak, or suspects carbon monoxide poisoning, they should call us on 0800 111 999 and our engineers will be there to help, day or night. 

The company also has a multi-million pound, 30-year gas pipe investment programme which began in 2002. Old metal pipes within 30 metres of buildings are being replaced with new long-lasting plastic pipes with a lifespan of more than 80 years, to make sure homes and businesses continue to receive a safe and reliable gas supply now and in the future.