Public Health England have included carbon monoxide safety advice in their annual Cold Weather Plan.
The plan provides guidance on how to stay healthy during winter and minimise the risks to well-being and safety posed by cold weather. It recognises that carbon monoxide poisoning is an indirect effect of cold, alongside direct effects such as increased incidence of heart attack and stroke. Accordingly, the plan advises householders to have all fuel-burning appliances serviced regularly by a qualified engineer, and to install carbon monoxide alarms that are compliant with the BS EN 50291 standard. This echoes advice given by Baroness Finlay, Co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group, in a video message of support for Gas Safety Week 2015 recorded earlier this year.
Additionally, the plan strongly cautions against the use of gas cookers or ovens to heat homes, as this can lead to a potentially fatal build-up of carbon monoxide. Indeed, such improper use of cooking appliances was highlighted as a 'problematic area' in our report Carbon Monoxide: From Awareness to Action (2015).
This plan further underlines how householders must take carbon monoxide into consideration, in order to stay safe whilst keeping warm during the winter months.