The Gas Safety Trust has issued a winter warning to landlords and installers of their obligations to keep gas appliances in good condition for tenants.
"In addition to keeping a look-out for warning signs that gas appliances aren't working correctly, landlords should be aware of the signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning – headaches, dizziness, breathlessness, nausea, collapse and loss of consciousness. If you cannot remember when your gas appliances were last serviced, then you should take action now and arrange for them to be checked out by a qualified professional as soon as possible."
The risk of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning in Great Britain associated with the use of mains natural gas and piped LPG were highlighted in the findings of a DIDR report funded by the Gas Safety Trust.
The figures on carbon monoxide incidents for 2010/11 confirm that of the eight accidental fatalities reported involving natural gas in the home, five were associated with central heating appliances, two with cookers and one with a space heater. The most frequent single cause of all 50 incidents during the year was flue/terminal fault (24%), followed by lack of servicing (19%) and appliance fault (17%).
Reports of customer misuse of an appliance (9%) as the cause of an incident would suggest that landlords should also ensure that tenants and residents are provided with adequate instructions and that appliances in rented properties and hotel accommodation are checked and serviced regularly to ensure they're working properly.
The full DIDR Report is available at www.gas-safety-trust.org.uk.