Cold Weather Prompts Gas Safety Call

As 72% of CO poisoning incidents reported at this time of year


Sign up for a free newsletter from: 

With winter approaching and more people using central heating, property owners are being reminded to ensure their gas appliances are in good working order.

According to the Gas Safety Trust, October to March is a high-risk period for carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning incidents – with 72 per cent of all recorded CO incidents occurring during these months. Safety experts refer to carbon monoxide as the “silent killer” because it cannot be smelt, tasted, heard or seen. In addition to CO poisoning, badly fitted and poorly serviced gas appliances can also cause gas leaks, fires and explosions.

The trust’s figures on carbon monoxide incidents for 2010/11 reveal that of the eight accidental fatalities reported involving natural gas in the home; five were associated with central heating appliances, two with cookers and one with a space heater.

Wandsworth Council is backing a call from the Gas Safety Trust urging landlords to review when their properties’ gas appliances were last serviced.

Wandsworth’s housing spokesman, Councillor Paul Ellis, said:
“Property owners should ensure their gas appliances meet current safety standards – particularly at this time of year when people become increasingly reliant on central heating to keep warm.

“Landlords are required under safety legislation to keep gas appliances in good condition. Appliances should be serviced annually by Gas Safe registered engineers and tenants should be provided with a record of this. Landlords who have fallen behind with checks at their property should take action to correct this – it could prevent a serious incident.”

The Gas Safety Trust found the number of CO incidents peaked in December 2010 when the UK experienced widespread snow and the coldest December for 100 years.

The charity recommends that every home has an audible carbon monoxide alarm installed.

For more information go to or email To find a Gas Safe registered engineer visit

November 2, 2012