To stop a killer..

CO-decal Last year I worked on a pitch for COCAA – the carbon monoxide consumer awareness alliance. Today I I nearly got involved in an entirely different capacity.  We have tenants living in a house we used to live in 5 years ago and we replaced the boiler the year before we moved out. We paid out for a service agreement so the boiler would be serviced at least annually. We put a carbon monoxide alarm next to the boiler. Which was in a child's bedroom.  Last year the service engineer moved the alarm because he said it was more important to put an alarm next to the gas fire downstairs. Based on what I know having worked on the Carbon Monoxide campaign I would have paid for alarms wherever he wanted them.

A fault developed with the boiler. It took a series of visits and repeated repairs to get it working properly. During these visits the engineers discovered there was a carbon monoxide leak but couldn't find where it was coming from. It took a visit from an engineer from the original manufacturer to identify the heat exchanger as the culprit.  The child has been taken to a doctor for tests – they have found traces of carbon monoxide in her system but only just above normal – she was sleeping in a bunk bed and of course would be out of the bedroom during the day. 

British_gas What I am going to find out is how British Gas thought it appropriate to move a carbon monoxide alarm out of a child's bedroom. And why it took so long to identify that there was a carbon monoxide leak and to trace the source and stop it.  Carbon Monoxide kills a hundred people a year in this country in poorly maintained premises serviced by cowboy plumbers. Where am I supposed to find a reputable organisation to keep my tenants safe if British Gas can't do it? 

And if by any chance you don't have a CO alarm than can I strongly recommend you get one tomorrow. Unbelievable.

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