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Carbon monoxide alarm legislation could save 50 lives every year says entrepreneur on Tue 26th November, 2013
The prosecution of a landlord in Derbyshire this week highlighted the need for legislation requiring the installation of carbon monoxide alarms says Will Davies - the MD and founder of property management and refurbishment company aspect.co.uk.
"It has always astonished me that it isn't mandatory in England and Wales to fit a carbon monoxide alarm in any house with a stove, boiler or open fire," said Mr Davies.
"All new solid fuel appliance installations must include a carbon monoxide detector but gas appliances and older stoves and fires do not require one by law," he said.
Dr Victoria Martindale received a 16-month prison sentence (suspended for two years) from Derby Crown Court; 200 hours community service, a £4,000 fine and was ordered to pay costs of £17,500 for seven breaches of gas safety regulations in a house which she rented out.
51 year-old Stephen Newton died in the property from carbon monoxide poisoning and his partner was overcome by fumes but saved by a neighbour.
"Fitting a carbon monoxide alarm is so cheap and easy and would have prevented this death. It should become mandatory that in addition to completing an annual gas safety report, landlords are also required to fit alarms," said Mr Davies. "The problems in this instance were caused by the tenant connecting an old gas appliance himself."
Will Davies has been a concerned campaigner for carbon monoxide safety for many years and his company aspect.co.uk is offering £10 off any booking to have an alarm fitted that quotes this article.
According to the last available figures, nine people died and 292 were affected by CO poisoning from gas appliances during 2009/10. But it is estimated that carbon monoxide poisoning from all sources kills 50 people each year and causes 200 serious injuries and 4,000 minor injuries. All of which, costs the health service in England and Wales £178 million annually.
"Gas isn't the only problem and if you burn anything inside your home you should immediately fit a carbon monoxide alarm," said Mr Davies.
"At this time of year, many house holders are lighting up fires and wood burners for the first time and I must stress the importance of cleaning chimneys and flues before you do so.
"Just because the chimney sweep has been doesn't guarantee that the chimney is open. Watch carefully as he works to see that a generously sized brush appears at the top of your chimney pot and feel inside your fire place to check there is a free flow of air before lighting any fire," he said.
A survey carried out last year by the Carbon Monoxide - Be Alarmed! campaign found that 57% of respondents (equivalent to about 35 million people) did not have a carbon monoxide alarm in their home.
"I would recommend that any home owner or landlord whose property contains a stove, boiler or open fire should install two carbon monoxide (or joint carbon monoxide and smoke) detectors in their homes: one in the room containing the appliance and another one at the top of the house," said Mr Davies.
Carbon monoxide cannot be seen, smelt or tasted and it can leak out of chimneys inside the house and rise to the top floor.
Notes to Editors
If you feature aspect.co.uk or Will Davies' comments on your website please include a hyperlink to the company's website at the first mention of the company's name. Thanks in advance.
About Will Davies
Will Davies is the co-founder and MD of www.aspect.co.uk which is a leading property maintenance and refurbishment company operating across both the domestic and commercial sectors.
They operate a 24 hours-per-day, seven days a week service and use the cutting edge technology to enable its workforce and ensure best customer practice, and high levels of performance.
aspect.co.uk employs a fully-skilled workforce - from handymen to qualified technicians, including gas engineers, plumbers, decorators and drainage specialists.
Founded in 2004, aspect.co.uk has grown at over 100% year-on-year. The company is based in South West London, and operates primarily across the city and all areas inside the M25. In July 2011, the company launched its nationwide franchise business.
Prior to founding aspect.co.uk Will Davies was a mergers & acquisitions expert at Societe Generale.
John Price, Hillgrove PR.
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