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Carbon monoxide detectors being fitted in 5,000 Gravesham council homes

PUBLISHED: 13:06 23 October 2019

Cllr Jenny Wallace with tenant Pamela Barker and her new carbon monoxide detector. Picture: Gravesham Council

Cllr Jenny Wallace with tenant Pamela Barker and her new carbon monoxide detector. Picture: Gravesham Council

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Five thousand homes in Gravesham are to be fitted with potentially life-saving carbon monoxide detectors.

The silent odourless killer can claim lives without the victim even knowing anything is wrong.

Now the detectors are to be fitted in 5,000 Gravesham Borough Council owned homes.

The programme has already started at homes with gas boilers owned by the authority, and should be completed in two years.

Cllr Jenny Wallace, cabinet member for housing services, helped install the first monitor at the Gravesend home of Henry and Pamela Barker.

She said: "As a landlord, we have installed carbon monoxide detectors as good practice where appliances are operating on solid fuel which pose a far greater risk of carbon monoxide poisoning than gas appliances.

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"Detectors are already being installed in our sheltered accommodation to help protect some of our more vulnerable residents, but that still leaves around 5,000 properties with gas boilers that do not have carbon monoxide detectors."

Detectors are being fitted by Swale Heating engineers when they visit properties to carry out annual boiler safety checks on behalf of the council and each monitor will be checked as part of subsequent annual inspections.

Cllr Wallace added: "Although it is not a legal requirement for social housing landlords such as ourselves to install detectors, we believe as an authority we should be ensuring we are protecting our residents from the potentially fatal effects of carbon monoxide poisoning."

The NHS warns carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas that has no smell or taste, but breathing it in can kill if exposed to high levels.

Shockingly, there are around 60 British people killed by this deadly gas, a by-product from burning gas.

In its warning, the NHS said: "After carbon monoxide is breathed in, it enters your bloodstream and mixes with haemoglobin (the part of red blood cells that carry oxygen around your body) to form carboxyhaemoglobin.

"When this happens, the blood is no longer able to carry oxygen, and this lack of oxygen causes the body's cells and tissue to fail and die."

Mild poisoning can cause a tension-type headache.

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