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Be carbon monoxide aware and win a free alarm

Author: 
John Freeman
Lancaster City Council is raising awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide with a simple-to-enter competition and a chance to win a free carbon monoxide alarm for your home.

Carbon monoxide is known as the silent killer. It is invisible, tasteless and odourless and can strike people in their own homes often producing flu-like symptoms such as headaches and drowsiness.

At least 50 people die each year in this country as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning, but this number may be much higher due to inaccurate diagnosis.

Carbon monoxide is a product of combustion so any appliance where combustible fuel is burnt, if not installed, operated or maintained correctly, may cause death. The risk is even greater if there is insufficient ventilation provided to a room to enable effective combustion.

Although it is strongly recommended that gas appliances are serviced regularly, chimneys swept and flues checked, it is a legal requirement for owners of rented accommodation to have annual gas and flue inspections. Tenants have a right to see the inspection report.

The council recommends that all homes with gas/coal/wood burning appliances have a carbon monoxide alarm. Although most homes now have a smoke detector, only 25% have a carbon monoxide alarm.

• If you want to be in with a chance to win one of five free alarms, simply answer the following questions and send them to Environmental Health – Carbon Monoxide Competition, Town Hall, Morecambe, LA4 5AF or by email to plord@lancaster.gov.uk by 31st January. Don’t forget to include your name, address and telephone number.

1. Carbon monoxide prevents which important chemical from reaching the blood?
a) oxygen
b) carbon dioxide
c) nitrogen

2. True or false – children may be at greater risk from carbon monoxide poisoning than adults because their bodies are smaller.

3. During which month does most carbon monoxide related incidents occur?
a) November
b) January
c) March

Need help answering the questions? Visit www.co-gassafety.co.uk.

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