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Local News Details

Raising Awareness of the Silent Killer

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

FIRE appliances in Merseyside are taking part in a new project to highlight the threat of carbon monoxide to homes across the area.

The new awareness campaign by the Gas Safe Register sees six appliances across Merseyside carrying messages raising awareness of the risks of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning and encouraging the public to have their gas appliances safety checked annually.

The new imagery for the fire appliances was unveiled at the Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service headquarters after the first of the six appliances had the paintwork completed this month.

The Gas Safe Register has developed a number of tools, including a web gas map which will inform consumers about gas safety statistics in their postcode area and offer an email reminder for when appliances should be safety checked.

Carbon monoxide is known as the silent killer.

You can’t see it, taste it or smell it and it can kill quickly with no warning. Every year this silent killer attacks more than 4,000 people in the UK.

All frontline fire engines in Merseyside are already equipped with ToxiRAE monitors, which are worn by firefighters and can detect dangerous levels of carbon monoxide at locations visited by them either responding to incidents or while carrying out home fire safety checks.

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service is the only one in the UK to carry the Gas Safe awareness campaign imagery.

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service deputy chief fire officer Phil Garrigan said: "As a Fire and Rescue Service we fully support this campaign. This move follows research work we undertook along with Liverpool John Moores University and West Midlands Fire Service where firefighters took readings of CO in homes across Merseyside as part of our home fire safety checks.

"The research found high levels of CO goes unnoticed in many homes across Merseyside on a daily basis, due to a low level of CO alarms in properties.

"Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service is committed to supporting safer, stronger communities across Merseyside. The findings of the study we took part in with Liverpool John Moores University emphasised the importance of keeping you and your family safe by using a carbon monoxide alarm and making sure a Gas Safe registered engineer inspects and services your boiler.

"The previous study work and these new adverts will all contribute towards helping to protect the most vulnerable people in our society in Merseyside."

The adverts use the words "4,000 victims. One silent killer" along with the website address (www.silentkiller.co.uk) where people can learn more about carbon monoxide.

Gas Safe Register is the official list of gas engineers who are registered to work safely and legally on gas appliances. By law, all gas engineers must be on the Gas Safe Register, which replaced CORGI registration in 2009.

As part of the new awareness initiative, Gas Safe Register has also developed a short film informing the viewer of the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning; the target audience range from people who know very little about CO or gas safety to those that do and don't see it as a priority.

Sarah Hill, Stakeholder Manager, Gas Safe Register, said: "We are delighted to be working with Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service on making the public aware of the risks of carbon monoxide.

"We are encouraging the public to ensure gas appliances are safety checked annually and we have created a website full of useful information and which also lets you sign up for a free reminder on when your next safety check is due."

Is there a silent killer in your home? Visit www.silentkiller.co.uk to find out how safe your home is. Enter your postcode to find a Gas Map showing gas risks in your area plus top tips to keep you safe.

You can find out more about gas safety in your home, how to find a registered engineer in your area, and how to check that they are qualified to work on your gas appliances, at www.GasSafeRegister.co.uk or call 0800 408 5500.

Merseymart
Staff Reporter
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