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Action demanded on carbon monoxide and boiler checks

Just over a quarter of all council tenants have not had their boiler serviced in the last 12 months while nearly two thirds do not have a carbon monoxide monitor fitted – according to a national survey.

The poll was carried out by ICM Research on behalf of Lloydspharmacy and in response the chemist chain has called on the Government to force councils to fit carbon monoxide monitors to their properties

The research also found that almost half of all people renting from the council admitted that they did not know an orange flame on a gas appliance may signify a possible carbon monoxide leak.

Chris Frost, Head of Medicines at Lloydspharmacy, said: “Milder cases of carbon monoxide leakage within the home can cause symptoms such as nausea, tiredness, and headaches which are easily mistaken for flu.

“These symptoms are particularly common at the onset of winter so it’s very easy for people to miss the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning.

“Carbon monoxide alarms are becoming more affordable. We can’t stress just how important it is for households to have their boilers serviced every year and to fit a carbon monoxide monitor.Lives depend on this.'

The CO-Gas Safety charity has backed Lloydspharmacy's campaign to improve the safety of council-owned properties.

Stephanie Trotter, charity president, said: “Our figures show that around 30 people die and a further 300 suffer CO poisoning in the UK every year, however we consider that this is the tip of the iceberg.

“The tragedy is that all this suffering is completely avoidable. Carbon Monoxide is colourless and odourless which means that it cannot be sensed by human senses. As the UK’s biggest landlord, our councils have a duty of care to protect residents.”