Thursday, 1 October 2015

CAMPAIGN: Project SHOUT - Carbon Monoxide Awareness

 
 I don't often talk about such serious issues on my blog, but this is a campaign that I feel strongly about especially now that I'm a parent. Project SHOUT was created after hearing Stacey Rodger's extremely sad story about how her son died of Carbon Monoxide poisoning at the young age of 10 years old. You can read more about Stacey's story here, it's truly heartbreaking. 

 
Her story highlighted the lack of awareness around what Carbon Monoxide is, the effect of inhaling it and how to prevent such devastating consequences. It's a bigger problem than you may think - every year 4000 people go to A&E with suspected Carbon Monoxide poisoning, 200 are hospitalised and approximately 50 people have died in England and Wales due to Carbon Monoxide poisoning. So Project SHOUT have created a national campaign to raise awareness and asked me to get involved.
 
What is Carbon Monoxide?
It is a gas that is created when a fuel is not burnt properly. Common sources are faulty boilers, gas fires and cookers - all very common household items, therefore everyone needs to know about the risks. Other slightly less common household sources are: portable generators, barbeque's, clogged chimneys, cigarette smoke and wood fires. 

Safety tips that will ensure you are safe at home and away
  • Make sure that all of your fuel-burning appliances are checked regularly by a registered engineer and that faulty appliances are replaced. 
  • Install Carbon Monoxide alarms in every room that contains a fuel-burning appliance and in each bedroom. 
  • Caravans, tents and boats are at a slightly higher risk, so ensure you have ample CO alarms fitted.
  • Most battery powered CO alarms are portable, which makes them ideal for going on holiday. It takes seconds to pop it into your luggage and could save your life.
Where can I get a CO alarm?
Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a silent killer, you won't know it's there until it's too late. That is unless you get yourself a Carbon Monoxide alarm, which will warn you if the levels of CO are getting too high. We already had a CO alarm that was given to me when my grandparents got rid of their caravan. We were also kindly sent this digital LCD CO alarm, but they don't need to be this 'fancy'. They can be pretty inexpensive, you can pick one up from places like amazon for around £10 - a small price to pay for your and your families lives.
 
 
What to do if your alarm does go off?
  A loud alarm is a warning that there is an unusually high and potentially lethal level of carbon monoxide. Never ignore an alarm, further exposing yourself could be fatal.  If you remember anything from this post, remember the following...

These are seven important steps to take when a CO alarm sounds:

1) Open doors and windows. 
2) Stop using fuel-burning appliances and, if possible, turn them off. 
3) Evacuate the property leaving the doors and windows open. 
4) In an emergency call National Gas Service on: 0800 111 999 Alternatively contact your gas or other fuel supplier on their emergency number.
5) Don’t re-enter the property until the alarm has stopped.
6) Get medical help immediately for anyone suffering the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning.
7) Don’t use the appliance again until it has been checked by an expert.

Do you have a CO alarm and know what to do if it goes off?

Feel free to leave a comment.

Helen x 


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