SHOCKING figures have revealed that UK firefighters call-outs for cases related to Carbon monoxide have increased.
UK fire service have been called out to 10% more carbon monoxide incidents in homes in the last five years but a third of UK homes do not have one.
Research carried out by comparison and switching service Uswitch.com found that that 32 % of households did not have an alarm to detect the gas in homes.
A freedom of information request submitted to UK fire and rescue services showed more than 3,000 incidents related to carbon monoxide in people’s home were attended to by firefighters in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Carbon monoxide is a tasteless, odorless gas meaning without alarms residents may not know if there was a leak from a household appliance.
A tension headache is the most common symptom of mild carbon monoxide poisoning.
Other effects can include dizziness, feeling and being sick, tiredness and confusion, stomach pain and shortness of breath and difficulty breathing.
Long-term exposure can cause neurological symptoms, and death in severe cases.
Despite the risk from the gas, a fifth (19%) of those with an alarm say they have never changed the batteries.
London Fire Brigade were the UK’s busiest service recording 2,019 call outs related to the gas
The 27 services that responded attended 3,236 incidents related to carbon monoxide in homes in 2020, compared to 2,954 in 2016, a 9.5% rise.
The company asked the households who had carbon monoxide alarms what needs to happen if it went off. A quarter answered by saying they did not know what to do if the alarm went off.
While, three quarters said they would know the required action needing to be taken. However, the majority failed to mention all the recommended steps such as turning off appliances and opening doors and windows, getting out f the property and calling a technician.
Uswitch.com and the London Fire Brigade are calling for people to ensure their boiler is regularly serviced to ensure if it operating safely.
Sarah Broomfield, energy expert at Uswitch.com, said: “Carbon monoxide is odorless, invisible, and can cause serious health problems or even be fatal. Without an alarm, families will be unaware there is a problem in their home.
“With households turning their heating up during the cold weather, and a majority working from home, boilers are under more pressure than ever and boilers which have not been serviced for a long time could be at risk of causing serious problems.”
A spokesman at London Fire Brigade,said: “At London Fire Brigade, we have developed a specific response to incidents involving carbon monoxide, so we are well aware of the risks and how devastating it can be for victims and their families.
“We would encourage everyone to get a carbon monoxide alarm for their home to keep them and their family safe.
“Many households don’t have CO alarms, whereas around 85% have a smoke alarm so there is a real need to raise awareness of the dangers and the importance of getting an alarm.”