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COCAA campaigns to stop the silent killer

The mother of a young boy found dead in his bed following exposure to carbon monoxide fumes from a neighbour's boiler is backing a CO awareness campaign launched by COCAA today.
COCAA campaigns to stop the silent killer
'The Carbon Monoxide – Be Alarmed' campaign is organised by the Carbon Monoxide Consumer Awareness Alliance (COCAA).

The new campaign is aimed at alerting householders and landlords to the risk of CO poisoning caused by faulty gas appliances. It also highlights the need to check household appliances regularly, and the need to install a CO alarm.

COCAA's campaign is backed by Stacey Rodgers, whose 10-year-old son Dominic died in 2004 after CO fumes from a neighbour's boiler seeped into his bedroom while he was sleeping. Stacey Rodgers has already won praise for her courage in spearheading the Kirklees Carbon Monoxide Awareness Group, which won Best Gas Safety initiative (Consumer) at the Corgi Awards 2008, held in September.

According to research by COCAA, only half of 4,333 people questioned claimed to have arranged such CO checks – suggesting that 12 million UK households are at risk from exposure to CO fumes. It also found that almost one in 30 of those surveyed believed they had experienced carbon monoxide poisoning.

The HVCA (Heating and Ventilating Contractors Association) is also lending its support to the COCAA campaign.

Bob Towse, head of technical and safety at the HVCA, said “There are around 30 confirmed deaths every year from CO poisoning, but the real figure could be much higher as the early symptoms are similar to those of illnesses such as influenza.”

He added “Many of these fatalities could be avoided if appliances burning gas, oil or solid fuel were checked annually by qualified installers.”

HVCA members qualified to carry out appliance safety checks can be located via the TrustMark website at www.trustmark.org.uk.

The COCAA campaign is fronted by Kirstie Allsopp of Channel 4's Location, Location, Location programme. COCAA, administrated by CORGI, was set up in response to recommendations in a 2006 government report entitled Shouting About a Silent Killer: Raising Carbon Monoxide Awareness. For more details go to www.becarbonmonoxideaware.com
22 October 2008

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