News release text
Firefighters in Tunbridge Wells are taking to the streets to help promote Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week (18-24 November).
Local Firefighter John Bristow has been working with the charity CoAwareness for the past two years and will be attending the House of Lords to launch this year’s campaign.
John said: “Tragically carbon monoxide poisoning claims the lives of people every year and in many cases the source of the gas has been a fire of some description. We are appealing to those who use open fires or solid fuel burners to heat their homes to ensure that their chimney is in good repair and swept regularly.
“Carbon monoxide is an odourless colourless gas so I would also encourage residents to fit CO detectors in their property and check they’re working at the same time they check their smoke alarms.”
Carbon monoxide can be given off by any appliance which burns a carbon fuel such as gas, coal, oil or wood. It can enter your room if your appliance is faulty, or if the room is not properly ventilated, or the chimney or flue is blocked. The gas cannot be seen, smelt, or tasted, and can cause permanent damage to your heart, lungs, and brain, and in extreme exposures lead to death.
To help get this message across John and other members of Tunbridge Wells blue watch will be attended the B&Q store on Longfield Road on 20 November where they will be highlighting the dangers of carbon monoxide and promoting home safety advice.
Tunbridge Wells Watch Manager, Mark Havell, who will be attending the event, said: “Chimney fires are often caused by a build up of soot and ash from previous use. These incidents not only have the potential to do a lot of damage to your property but poor ventilation can also prevent fumes from exiting your home.
“Last year crews across the county attended 311 confirmed chimney fires*, so we are therefore encouraging people to come along on the 20 November and pick up some potentially life saving tips.”