Although the possibility of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is significantly lower with oil-fired central heating, as highlighted by a 2012 Gas Safety Trust report, all fossil fuels can give off the clear odourless gas which kills around 40 people each year in England and Wales and is responsible for a further 4,000 hospital admissions.
With consumer safety a key priority, OFTEC is encouraging oil users to visit www.notoco.co.uk and pledge their support for the new campaign to change the law, making it compulsory for CO alarms to be installed in all English and Welsh households with carbon burning appliances.
Malcolm Farrow of OFTEC comments: “Just 15% of homes in England and Wales currently have CO detectors fitted, compared to 85% that have smoke alarms. By not having a CO alarm these homeowners are putting many lives unnecessarily at risk.
“Oil heating appliances have a very good carbon monoxide safety record, but consumers should not be complacent. The key message is that in order to save lives, everyone who uses oil heating should install a CO alarm and have their boiler checked annually by an OFTEC registered technician to make sure it is working properly.”
Further information on how to minimise the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning is provided at www.oilsave.co.uk.