Carbon Monoxide Awareness
Carbon Monoxide Home Safety Leaflet.pdf
Carbon Monoxide poster.pdf
“We’re needed more than ever before” says under-threat charity in pleas for funding
Government spending cuts are putting increasing numbers of people at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, according to the president of a charity that is itself facing closure unless new sources of funding are found.
Lynn Griffiths, President of Carbon Monoxide Awareness, the charity that established Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week and made it a key feature of the Public Health calendar, says that thousands of people are failing to have gas and other fossil fuel appliances regularly serviced.
“The simple fact of the matter is that the current economic climate is forcing thousands of people into poverty and they don’t have spare cash for even essential maintenance, like having their central heating boilers and other fuel burning appliances serviced at the appropriate time,” she said.
“It’s a false economy and people are gambling with their lives, but when it comes down to a choice between putting food on the table and having a flue checked or an appliance serviced. I can understand where they’re coming from. These are desperate days and people are making desperate choices.”
Approximately 4,000 people are diagnosed with low level carbon monoxide poisoning each year and that figure is just the tip of an iceberg because many cases go undetected. Around 200 are admitted to hospital annually and 50 people die.
Lynn knows all about the devastating effects of CO poisoning. She and her family were exposed to the deadly gas in their home for many because the gas registered engineers who regularly serviced her gas fire and central heating system failed to spot that a flue was partially blocked.
“My family’s experience is becoming increasingly common as more people are forced into low-paid employment and cut back on maintenance in the home. Our charity is needed more than ever, but we are under threat because many of our supporters have had their budgets cut and can no longer afford to contribute to charitable causes,” she said.
Carbon Monoxide Awareness has received some funding from United Utilities and Plus Dane, a Cheshire-based housing association, and a group of APICS chimney sweeps has established a website link through which donors can make their contributions. The link is: www.everyclick.com/carbon-monoxide-awareness-limited/1125755/0/info
However, Lynn Griffiths says that more is needed or the charity will be forced to close its doors for good. Leaving those poisoned by this silent killer with nowhere to go for support. “If 100 businesses, housing associations or councils were each to contribute £500, which is just £10 a week, the charity can be saved.”
The charity’s “National Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week” is launched from the House of Lords every year. The charity travels to Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales during their Carbon Monoxide Awareness week. Their Home coming event is usually held in the Northwest as this is where the charity was founded in 2005.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is the most common poison in the UK. Early symptoms are similar to common ailments such as food poisoning, viral infections, flu or simple tiredness. These may include headache, drowsiness, nausea and vomiting, aching muscles, difficulty breathing, vision changes, high blood pressure, tinnitus, rapid pulse, dizziness, vertigo and pins and needles.
Judgement is impaired and the victim may go through emotional changes and become confused and clumsy. If unchecked and the victim doesn’t leave the toxic environment, loss of consciousness, coma and death may follow.
Carbon Monoxide Awareness has been run successfully for over seven years by unpaid volunteers who want to make a difference by supporting victims of this silent but deadly potential killer, whilst at the same time working hard to prevent others from becoming victims.
The charity has produced a carbon monoxide DVD to help raise awareness "formed both a medical and a community group, to pass on to those who join any and all newly discovered information about the effects, treatment or other relevant information on carbon monoxide poisoning" Has developed a useful CO mobile phone App which can be downloaded free of charge from the charity’s website: www.covictim.org
- Carbon Monoxide is an odourless, colourless gas known as the silent killer.
- All gas, oil, coal and wood burning appliances should be serviced every year.
- If you are homeowner over pension age, disabled, chronically sick and receiving pension credit or council tax benefit or housing benefit, you can probably get a free Gas Safety check from your gas supplier. See the back of your gas bill or visit your gas supplier’s website for more info.
- If your home is rented then your landlord must provide a Gas Safety check every 12months.
- A chimney if you have one should be swept once or twice a year.
- Carbon Monoxide alarms when fitted need to be sited correctly and in-date.
- Established their National Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week
- The charity offers support to those poisoned by Carbon Monoxide any time day or night
- Won the "Plain English Speaking Award" for their Carbon Monoxide leaflet
- Lobbied for resources to be provided for the education of doctors and nurses in the detection of carbon monoxide related illnesses.
- Has their contact details listed with NHS Direct and The College of Emergency Medicine.
- Held stands at both the Emergency Services and Ambition shows.
- Launched its Carbon Monoxide Awareness Healthcare Group in the House of Lords.
- Developed a triage poster for hospital A & E departments with the HPA and other partners. This has gone out to every A&E, Minor Injury Units and Walk in Centres.
- Given talks to fire and rescue, coroners, landlords, and support groups on the dangers of CO.
- Helped NPIS update the TOXBASE entry for Carbon Monoxide.
- Launch a "FREE" Carbon Monoxide Phone App. See www.covictim.org
- Working with the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) on awareness-raising initiatives. See: www.cfoa.org.uk/12803
- Launched its “Cozy but Deadly Barbecue Campaign” a joint project with Cornwall Fire and Rescue from the House of Commons. This national campaign is believed to of reached millions of people last year.
- Run press campaigns in partnership with the Health Protection Agency and may others
For further information please contact
Lynn Griffiths. Charity’s founder/founder of Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week
Victim of carbon monoxide for over a decade
Website: www.co-awareness.org and www.covictim.org
Carbon Monoxide Awareness (Charity)
Charity No. 1125755
Aintree Community Fire Station,