Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) is urging the public to be aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning after two fatal incidents within weeks of each other in Cornwall.
The latest incident on February 23 saw the tragic deaths of three people and a dog at Tremarle Home Park near Camborne.
This followed another fatal incident on February 12 where a woman and three dogs died at an address in Bedford Road, St Ives from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Crew manager Mark Pratten from Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service said: “These tragic events within days of each other highlight how important it is to be aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning. A colourless, odourless and poisonous gas, carbon monoxide is produced by the incomplete burning of carbon-based fuels including gas, oil, wood and coal.
"In most cases of accidental poisonings, victims don't realise that carbon monoxide is being produced or building up in the air they are breathing. Everyone needs to know about the dangers of carbon monoxide and how to protect themselves from this silent killer.”
Mark explains: “It is important to be aware that carbon monoxide can be produced in many different ways not just by a gas boiler or gas appliances, but also by solid fuel and wood burners, as well as open fires. Carbon monoxide poisoning can have tragic results – but there are steps you can take to keep you and your loved ones safe.”
Tips for staying CO safe include:
• Buy a carbon monoxide detector - place it in your home (refer to manufacturers guidelines) test it regularly and keep the sensor free from dust and well maintained. You can also buy a portable detector to take with you on holiday.
• Have your appliances properly installed and regularly serviced by gas safe professionals.
• Sweep chimneys and flues regularly.
• Don’t block vents – make sure your home is ventilated.
• When removing hot ashes from an open fire at the end of the day, ensure they are removed to fresh air in a metal bucket and extinguished properly in a safe environment.
For more information on carbon monoxide poisoning visit www.cornwall.gov.uk/carbonmonoxide or call Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service’s 24hr freephone fire safety helpline on 0800 3581 999.