Gas Safety Trust announces latest Downstream CO Incident database figures highlighting the continued CO threat to vulnerable customers in the community

The Gas Safety Trust (GST) has launched its new Downstream Carbon Monoxide (CO) Incident Report (DIDR) database on its CO Portal (www.coportal.org) with recent findings from 2014/15 showing an increased risk of CO poisoning incidents in homes of the vulnerable.                                                                                  

The DIDR database now accessible for the first time online, contains details of accidental CO poisoning incidents in Great Britain associated with the use of mains natural gas and piped Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) in the home.

Over the past 20 years, the DIDR reports have listed over 80 reported deaths relating to CO poisoning, and recent data shows that during the 2014/15 winter period, there were four fatalities in elderly people over 80 years of age, from three separate incidents involving piped natural gas. All three incidents were linked to very old, open flued appliances.

Speaking at the Parliamentary Launch of Gas Safety Week 2016 on 13 September, Gas Safety Trust Chairman, Chris Bielby said:

“We can’t be complacent when it comes to gas safety and we should continue to remove aged appliances from homes and ensure we protect vulnerable members of our community; this is especially important in the winter months.

It was with the 2014/15 DIDR data in mind, that the GST along with the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network recently held a roundtable discussion in Birmingham to look at potential links between CO poisoning and dementia, and the possible areas for research funding.

I am pleased that the Downstream Incident dataset is now available online and in an easily accessible format. There is still a lot we don’t understand about CO poisoning and I am hopeful that, along with the CO Portal, this database will be considered a valuable research tool into the effects of CO.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

About the Gas Safety Trust
The Gas Safety Trust, established in 2005 as a registered charitable body, has become the UK’s leading fuel safety charity with the key objectives of further improving fuel safety for the public and industry throughout the United Kingdom and reducing the incidents of death and serious injury from carbon monoxide exposure. GST is currently seeking grant applicants via www.gassafetytrust.org.  The Gas Safety Trust is generously funded by the gift aided profits of CORGI Services Limited.

About Carbon Monoxide
Carbon monoxide is a gas formed during the incomplete combustion of any carbon-based or fossil fuel (e.g. gas, coal, oil, wood, charcoal etc) which happens when there is insufficient oxygen caused by poor ventilation.

About the Downstream Incident Data Report
In GB, Downstream Incident Data Report (DIDR) forms are completed by investigators following the investigation of accidental CO poisonings associated with the use of mains natural gas or piped LPG in the home. The information received has been gathered, placed on a database, analysed and presented in a series of consecutive annual reports from 1996/7 to 2013/14. The initial reports were funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) with the Gas Safety Trust (formerly the CORGI Trust) taking over the funding for the reporting period starting in April 2006.

About the GST CO Portal
The Gas Safety Trust (GST) has created an online carbon monoxide (CO) portal, which is the central repository for data and information relating to CO in the UK. The portal was launched in January 2015. The Portal has three main sections CO Documents, Downstream Incident Data, and Other Data. The CO Documents database includes Legislation and Standards, which comprises information on regulations, standards, guidance and codes of practice, Academic References, which is a searchable reference library of academic papers relating to CO, and Data and Documents which contains reports and other general information on CO.

For further information please contact:

Adrian McConnell                   

Trust Manager

Gas Safety Trust

T: 020 7706 5111
M: 07792 219649
E: adrian@gassafetytrust.org
W: www.gassafetytrust.org
Follow us: @GasSafetyTrust

Visit the new GST CO Portal here.