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Potential in 2019: The future of CO safety

Potential in 2019: The future of CO safety

17th December 2018

2019 will be an ambitious year for CO safety. The APPCOG will secure the advances of 2018 on CO alarms, continue our work on the most vulnerable in society, and explore new areas such as mental health and direct booking accomodation.

The APPCOG will continue to argue all properties should have a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm. We made significant progress in 2018 thanks to the tireless work of CO campaigners and follow up work on Eddie Hughes' MP 2017 'Silent Killer' Private Members Bill, which led to the Government's CO alarm review. The APPCOG was invited onto the review's working group and has been making the case for stronger regulations, with a ministerial decision expected in January. To secure these advances, the APPCOG will continue to build the political will to enact stronger CO alarm requirements.

2019 marks a key stage for developing RIIO-GD2, the policy Ofgem will use to regulate the Gas Distribution Networks (GDNs) from 2021 to 2026. We're specifically interested in RIIO-GD2’s social obligations targets for CO awareness-raising and reducing fuel poverty, as they influence how effective GDNs are at reducing CO poisoning. The APPCOG will continue to monitor RIIO-GD2's development as we enter 2019.

The APPCOG will also use 2019 to expand the breadth of our work. In January, we will host a roundtable with Gas Safety Trust on ‘The Brain and CO: The impacts of carbon monoxide poisoning on mental health and wellbeing’. This event will discuss the impact of Acquired Brain Injury (ABI), how CO poisoning can cause it, and how it can be treated. Chris Bryant MP (Chair of the APPG on ABI) is chairing the roundtable - which is kindly sponsored by Gas Safety Trust - and we will share the outcomes of this event in February.

We are also looking at CO safety in direct-booking accomodation sites like Airbnb. The APPG on Tourism and Leisure’s 'Inquiry into the Sharing Economy' raised several CO-relevant concerns. This report claimed direct-booking sites lack clarity on safety regulations, such as CO alarms and gas safety certificates. If hosts don’t understand their duty to safeguard guests then this will increase the risk of CO poisoning faced by holidaymakers, and it is unclear what regulation govern those who hire out their homes on drect booking sites. To address this, we will work to tighten health and safety regulation around direct booking sites and those who use them. 

Finally, the APPCOG will strive to improve CO safety campaigns in festivals. To achieve this, we will assemble members of industry and festival providers to discuss how to best utilise knowledge and resources. The APPCOG and our stakeholders will then work with festivals to improve their messaging and reduce deaths and injuries from CO. If you would like to be involved, or know someone who would, please contact us.

The APPCOG is incredibly excited for the work ahead of us in 2019, which will build  on our progress from 2018 and influence new policy areas. Policy Connect is incredibly grateful to all our Parliamentarians, members and sponsors for their support. We hope you take a well-deserved break this December and enter 2019 ready to continue our efforts to eradicate CO poisoning deaths and injuries.