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UK university students 50% at risk from 'silent killer'

UK university students 50% at risk from 'silent killer'

2nd November 2017

More than half of UK university students are at risk from the silent killer

University students in private rented accommodation being at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

  • Less than half (46%) of university students have a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm
  • More than half of students (56%) don’t recognise the symptoms of CO poisoning
  • Students twice as likely to think they have a hangover (85%) than CO poisoning (45%)

New research from Energy UK’s CO Be Alarmed! campaign today reveals that less than half (46%) of the UK university students in rented accommodation have a life-saving carbon monoxide alarm leaving the rest exposed to the silent killer. Six in ten (58%) also admit that they didn’t check if there was a CO alarm installed when they moved into their current rented accommodation.

The poll also revealed that half of UK university students don’t recognize the symptoms of CO poisoning which include dizziness, headaches and nausea. Students are twice as likely to think they have a hangover (85%) or the flu (84%) than CO poisoning (45%). Food poisoning (51%) and pregnancy (46%) also came above carbon monoxide poisoning in the list of situations students might attribute waking up with a headache, dizziness or nausea. Almost two thirds (63%) of students hadn’t had an up-to-date gas safety check and two in five (44%) didn’t know that they have the right to ask for an annual gas safety check from their landlord.

Abbie Sampson, Director of External Affairs at Energy UK and CO Be Alarmed! spokesperson, said:

“It is shocking that over half of UK university students in rented accommodation are at risk from the silent killer. You cannot see, smell or taste carbon monoxide. That’s why it is so important to have an audible carbon monoxide alarm fitted.”

“I urge all students to follow our simple ABC checklist – make sure you have an Alarm fitted, test the Batteries and make sure you have an up-to-date gas Check?”