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Carbon Monoxide: Poisoning

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 9th February 2011.

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Photo of Louise Mensch Louise Mensch Conservative, Corby

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps his Department is taking to raise the level of awareness of the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning from faulty domestic boiler installation.

Photo of Chris Grayling Chris Grayling The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

The Government takes gas safety and awareness of carbon monoxide issues very seriously and provides significant information on websites and in published information. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) advises consumers to always use a Gas Safe registered engineer for all gas work in their home, including domestic boiler installation, and to ensure that any gas appliances are regularly serviced and maintained. Although not a substitute for the correct installation or maintenance of an appliance, HSE also strongly recommends the use of audible carbon monoxide alarms.

In April 2009 HSE launched the Gas Safe Register, the statutory registration scheme for gas engineers. The scheme has the strong focus of raising consumer awareness of gas safety risks and has undertaken significant campaigns, including national TV advertising, coverage on a wide variety of consumer programmes and national and regional press and radio, along with regional and community events. Research by the Gas Safe Register has shown that 81% of consumers are aware of gas safety risks and the Gas Safe Register.

HSE and Gas Safe Register continue to work to raise awareness of the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning, including focusing on vulnerable groups. The 'Let's talk gas safety' campaign focused at the Over 65's has recently launched, involving close working with local 'Age UK' groups and this will be supplemented throughout the year with both general and targeted awareness raising promotions and ongoing media campaigns.

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