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A Carbon Monoxide Safety Policy Manifesto from Policy Connect

A Carbon Monoxide Safety Policy Manifesto from Policy Connect

4th May 2017

A Carbon Monoxide Safety Policy Manifesto from Policy Connect

4th May 2017

Policy Connect publishes its Carbon Monoxide Safety Manifesto for the General Election 2017. Produced by the organisation’s Energy Safety Team, and comprising the expertise of two different independent groups, our groups consist of cross-party parliamentarians and cross-sectoral industry experts.

Based on our work, these should be the energy safety priorities for the new Government:

1. Ensure that landlords will be required to install carbon monoxide alarms in all rooms that contain fixed combustion devices in England, Northern Ireland and Wales.

The new Government should commit to promoting safety for residents through landlord regulations. Recent research undertaken at Liverpool John Moores University which indicates it is low-income households who are most at risk of CO poisoning.

At present, in Scotland all private rental properties must contain “satisfactory provision for giving warning if carbon monoxide is present in a concentration that is hazardous to health”. A Policy Connect report recommended that ‘Building Regulations should be amended to require social housing providers to fit and maintain Standard-compliant carbon monoxide alarms wherever a fuel burning appliance is installed’.

Regulations in England and Wales state that whilst landlords will not legally be required to install CO alarms in rooms that contain gas appliances, but that DCLG would expect and encourage all 'reputable landlords' to do so regardless, as such appliances can emit carbon monoxide, but there is no formal regulation in place. Private landlords in England are only required to provide CO alarms in properties containing a solid-fuel burning appliance, such as an open fire or log burning stove.

 

2. Government must raise awareness of dangers of CO poisoning while on holiday – at festivals, ‘staycations’ or abroad.

We advocate that the new Government should should require companies offering or marketing holiday accommodation in other countries to British citizens to undertake specified health and safety measures in relation to carbon monoxide emissions on those properties. Between 2011 and 2013 there were 12 death and 28 recorded injuries in recreation and leisure environments in the UK.

Following a panel discussion in Parliament, and recommendations from the office of David Burrowes (then MP), the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has updated its travel advice to Britons going to China, to signpost the CO Be Alarmed campaign.

 

3. Smart meters present an opportunity to reinforce CO safety measures.

Research has emphasised that CO safety messages can be most effectively delivered through using "trusted messengers at the right times", such as when an engineer visits the home.

In a House of Commons debate on the Energy Bill, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change was asked about plans to utilise the smart meter roll-out as an opportunity to spread carbon monoxide (CO) safety messaging amongst householders.

 

Notes 

This Manifesto has been produced by representatives from Policy Connect for the General Election 2017.

These Manifesto recommendations are based solely on evidence-based research, politically neutral publications and our political work which is all cross-party, peer-reviewed and reached by consensus.

This builds on the programme of events, meetings and publications we have developed since the 2015 General Election. We also regularly submit evidence to Select Committee inquiries and government consultations, including our recent work preparing to submit to the consultation on the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations (2015).

Government has the opportunity to further protect its citizens from the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning, including renter rights, healthcare education and tourism safety. CO poisoning kills an estimated 30 people a year, and harms some 2,000 people.

The Energy Safety team has recently been working with Glastonbury, Festival Republic (including Reading & Leeds, Latitude, Lollapalooza, Electric Picnic, V Festival, Wireless, Community, Download) and the Assocation of Festivals Organisers, to highlight the dangers of CO poisoning from bringing BBQs into tents in Parliament.

These recommendations have been provided to various political parties.