Don’t risk lives and block ventilation during the cold snap

30 million Brits are at risk as men and women fail to agree on who’s in charge of home safety checks

The start of 2009 experienced one of the sharpest cold snaps in recent memory. With temperatures dropping as low as -10c in some areas of the UK, the temptation is to try and block every little draft to make the home as cosy as possible.

COCAA is warning families not to put their lives at risk from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.

Proper air circulation, particularly around heating appliances, is vital to prevent the build up of CO which causes up to around 30 deaths and hundreds of poisonings per year.

COCAA conducted a survey in December 2008 that revealed that only one in five of us can recognise the symptoms of CO poisoning and half of all men and women are unwilling to take responsibility for safeguarding their families against the risk of fatal CO poisoning.

Britons appear more organised when it comes to other home-tasks - over a third of men and just under half of women take care of the domestic bills - a pretty even split. Housework still overwhelmingly falls to women - with 64% sweating over it compared to just 9% of men. But despite the vital importance of home safety, nearly half of men and women alike - 49% - are unwilling to delegate or accept responsibility for it, instead ignoring it completely.

The report highlighted that only 25% of homes have audible carbon monoxide alarms compared to 87% having smoke alarms. To make matters worse, many fail to get appliances checked by a registered trades person..

If delegation to particular family members is so clear-cut when it comes to other household tasks, why not home safety too?

COCAA strongly recommends annual servicing of all appliances that can produce CO, and to only use a qualified engineer to conduct the work. Depending upon your fuel source, there are a number of people you can talk to:

Oil: 0845 658 5080
Solid Fuel: 0845 634 5626
Gas: 0870 401 2200
CO alarms:
Advice: 0800 1694 457
To buy: http://www.cogdem.org.uk/CoGDEMCOsite/links.html

Gas Emergency Service: 0800 111 999

Please don’t leave your home safety to chance - by simply getting a service contract and a CO alarm today, you can protect your family from CO, the silent killer, quickly and easily.