Many people believe that CO poisoning is not really an issue for them. Misinformation abounds and people give lots of reasons when they are asked the question ‘do you have CO detectors in your home?’. This article will show why the only reasonable answer to this question should be ‘yes, of course’.
For a start, there is the mathematical fact of prevalence. The number of people admitted to hospital and how many people die from CO poisoning each year has been published on our own website and in countless other places, varying slightly depending on the source but all around the same average. We’re not going to say it again here because it doesn’t matter if it’s 1,000 people, or 100 or even just 1 person who loses their life: action must be taken to prevent it.
And how simple the action is. It involves two parts: first, get CO detectors. Second, tell somebody else to get CO detectors. Repeat often. The lobbying, protesting voice gets louder all the time and we are happily seeing a rise in awareness, albeit a slow one. We need to hurry it up.
For years, people lived without smoke detectors. Today, they’re as common a sight in our homes as televisions or microwaves. Deaths from smoke and fire in houses have sunk dramatically in number since that widespread acceptance. It’s not rocket science: detect problem, alert human.
Now that the problem of CO poisoning is recognised, we need to treat CO detectors in the same way as smoke detectors and get them in EVERY home. The excuses given such as ‘but I don't have an open fire/log burner/chimney’, ‘they’re too expensive’ or ‘my appliances are brand new and top of the range’ are all utterly devoid of relevance.
To answer these common excuses; ALL fuel-burning appliances are a potential source of CO, not just solid fuel fires. Everyone who heats their home is at risk and that’s obviously pretty much all of us. Secondly, CO detectors are NOT expensive when you consider the protection they offer and their service lifespan. And last of all, it doesn't matter if your appliance is handmade by artisans at a cost of thousands or picked up at the pound-shop: NO appliance is guaranteed to be 100% fault-free and bad apples slip through all the time.
Old or new, cheap or pricey, a fuel-burning appliance can go wrong and cause CO poisoning. The only reasonable response is to get a detector and spread the word.