The Gas Safety Trust instructed OnePoll to conduct an online survey of some 2,000 people to ascertain whether property owners and tenants had any idea of the dangers of gas equipment. The results were fairly disturbing…
The results included:
1. Under a quarter of renters knew whether their appliances had undergone a Landlord’s Safety Check in the last 12 months.
2. Over one third of homeowners had not had their boiler serviced in the last 12 months.
3. Fewer than a third had an audible carbon monoxide alarm.
4. The under 25’s were the least able to identify all of the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.
5. Only 13% of the people questioned were able to identify the main symptoms and characteristics of carbon monoxide poisoning (CO).
Commenting on the poll’s findings, Chris Bilby, Chairman of the Gas Safety Trust said:
“We were disappointed to find that despite a concerted effort by industry and others, there is a still a worrying lack of awareness about the dangers of carbon monoxide.”
With the Department of Health estimating 40 deaths per year from carbon monoxide poisoning, it is essential that people get their appliances checked on an annual basis by an appropriately qualified engineer and that every household has an audible carbon monoxide alarm.
Initiatives over the last 10 – 20 years have made great progress, but with the emerging trend of fatalities from barbecues and generators where they are used in enclosed spaces with poor ventilation – it is clear that stakeholders have to go much further to get the message across to the public.
Sadly, a similar poll, also by OnePoll, studied festival goers and their knowledge of the same issues. Somewhat incredibly, 49% thought it was safe to use a barbeque inside their tent and as many as 61% of the same festival goers thought it safe to do the same with a gas cooker. 52% of them would use a cooking appliance to heat the tent.
Carbon monoxide alarms are not expensive and are relatively unobtrusive. The Gas Safety Trust urges anyone heading off to a festival to take a carbon monoxide alarm with them and keep any gas burning appliance well out of tents and other enclosed spaces.
LCB / SRJ 01.08.14