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Students living in digs are being urged to make sure they aren’t putting their lives in danger by making sure their accommodation has life-saving audible carbon monoxide (CO) alarms fitted.
Every year 15 to 20 people die from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning in the UK and 234 suffered major injuries last year alone. The Health and Safety Executive is launching a new campaign in the South West to make parents, landlords and students aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide.
Plymouth-based HSE Inspector, Helena Allum, said:
"Carbon monoxide is a silent, odourless but deadly killer and the simple processing of fitting an audible alarm could save lives.
"We want students to make sure they’re safe when living in digs by ensuring alarms are fitted.
"If you are living in rented accommodation your landlord has a duty to have any gas appliance that they own regularly serviced by a Gas Safe Register engineer and issue you with a copy of the gas safety certificate following the annual safety check. Contact HSE if your landlord does not, on request, provide you with a copy of the certificate."
Dave Worswick, whose 15-year-old daughter, Mary Ann, died of CO poisoning while visiting a friend’s house, is also backing the campaign.
"If parents do care for the welfare of their children when they move into rented accommodation they should make sure they or their children see a copy of the property’s gas safety certificate and make sure there is an alarm. It is a small price to pay for peace of mind which could save a life."
In addition to a hard-hitting poster and leaflet campaign on Devon and Cornwall’s main campus sites, the HSE are also working with university accommodation offices, landlord organisations and student unions to make sure students pick-up the CO message.