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Protect your family against the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning

View profile for Catriona Ralls
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It’s Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week this week, which comes shortly after the implementation of new regulations for landlords to ensure their properties are adequately fitted with appropriate alarms. Catriona Ralls, Personal Injury Lawyer for Hampshire law firm Warner Goodman LLP, explains further about these new regulations, and highlights what people should be aware of when it comes to this deadly gas.

“The effects of carbon monoxide exposure can be life-changing and in some situations can result in fatalities,” begins Catriona. “In fact, in 2014 there were approximately 50 fatalities and 1,000 injuries that were as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning. This is incredible when you consider that there are alarms and detectors available to prevent this from happening, hence why the government has introduced these new regulations.”

As of 1st October 2015, landlords must ensure that their properties have a working carbon monoxide alarm as well as a working smoke alarm. “This carbon monoxide alarm must be fitted 1-3 meters away from a solid fuel burning appliance,” continues Catriona. “Not only this, but they must be checked at the start of every new tenancy agreement, and then it’s recommended they are re-tested on a monthly basis. Any landlord that does not comply with these new regulations will face a £5,000 fine.”

It’s not only important that landlords are aware of their new responsibilities but that tenants are also updated as to their rights, as well as the signs to look for. “If you have been exposed to carbon monoxide poisoning, the first signs will be headache, vomiting and a feeling of nausea,” explains Catriona. “These are obviously common symptoms of many different illnesses, so it’s important you monitor these symptoms for developments. The next stage would be a more prominent feeling of dizziness, forgetfulness, lack of concentration and drowsiness, potentially with chest pains as well. If these symptoms occur along with the initial concerns, then investigation must take place otherwise you are at risk of seizures or falling into a coma. This can then lead to life-changing injuries such as brain damage and neurological problems.”

As carbon monoxide is an odourless, colourless gas it can be extremely tricky to detect and diagnose carbon monoxide poisoning before it’s too late. “That’s why these new government measures go some way in the prevention of injuries and fatalities,” Catriona concludes. “This of course only covers rented properties, and so if you own your home then we would urge you to install a carbon monoxide detector in your home.”

If you or a loved on has been affected by carbon monoxide poisoning, then you can contact Catriona or the Personal Injury team to discuss your options for financial compensation, or access to rehabilitation. They can be contacted on 0800 91 92 30 or via their section of the website here.

ENDS

This is for information purposes only and is no substitute for, and should not be interpreted as, legal advice.  All content was correct at the time of publishing and we cannot be held responsible for any changes that may invalidate this article.