The Silent Killer!! Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council Combats Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
June 1, 2015
Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, in partnership with the Health and Safety Executive Northern Ireland (HSENI) and local businesses, is encouraging caravan and campervan owners to be aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.
Often known as the silent killer, carbon monoxide cannot be smelt or seen and victims are often unconscious before it is realised what has happened.
While carbon monoxide is usually associated with domestic fossil fuel-burning appliances, incidents and deaths can also happen in caravans, campervans and on board boats. Faulty gas cookers, appliances or petrol-powered generators have led to carbon monoxide poisoning.
On 21st January 2015 a tragic incident involving a gas cooker in a static caravan in Newcastle, County Down, resulted in the death of Mr and Mrs O’Reilly. The coroner found that the deaths were caused by CO poisoning that happened as a direct result of a malfunctioning cooker. The cooker was a New World Vision LPG cooker which was the subject of a safety bulletin in 2009.
A number of Beko, Belling, Flavel, Leisure and New World gas cookers are subject to safety bulletins and require modifications to enable them to operate safely. Information on the gas cookers has been circulated to caravan suppliers and caravan parks in the local area. Residents, landlords and letting agents are also strongly advised to check if their cooker is affected. A list of affected appliances can be found at: www.lisburncastlereagh.gov.uk/resident/environmental-health/consumer-protection/gas-cookers
Welcoming the ongoing drive to raise CO awareness, Chair of the Environmental Committee, Councillor Brian Hanvey said, “The Council works closely with the Health & Safety Executive to ensure that all relevant information is available to its ratepayers.
“I would urge everyone to heed the advice being offered to help reduce the dangers of CO in caravans and campervans.
“Take action and make sure you have a CO alarm fitted and check it is working properly.
“As an added safety measure, it is advisable to install an audible CO alarm in your caravan, campervan, home, holiday home or boat - these are widely available in supermarkets and DIY stores.
“Please take the precautionary measures now to ensure you and your family have a fun safe summer”.
Proprietor of Lakeside View Caravan Park, Harold Reain would encourage holidaymakers to act now. He said, “I would like to take this opportunity to ask caravan and campervan owners to take responsibility to ensure all appliances are correctly installed and regularly serviced.
“Holidaymakers should also be aware of the threat of CO poisoning when barbecuing and should never take a barbecue into their tent, awning, caravan or campervan.
“We do not want a repeat of the tragic incident that took place in Newcastle earlier on in the year, so it is of utmost importance that all holidaymakers are familiar with the dangers of Carbon Monoxide and how by taking simple steps can reduce the risk of CO poisoning.
To find out more about the dangers of Carbon Monoxide, please contact the HSENI helpline on 0800 0320 121 or visit: www.hseni.gov.uk/watchout