David Kidney, Chair of the Carbon Monoxide All Fuels Action Forum, gave the keynote speech, and congratulated CORGI for their clear focus on helping raise standards in the energy industry and promote safety in people’s homes. He also thanked attendees for their important contribution to our society’s fairness, health, wellbeing and sustainability.
He then called on attendees to take one more step forward, to help prevent CO poisoning, saying: “CO is a poisonous gas produced by incomplete burning of carbon-based fuels – even short exposure can kill or cause paralysis and brain damage. Low level exposure over longer periods causes chronic conditions that doctors may confuse with migraine, flu, shortness of breath or chest pain. Research has suggested that a prevalence of CO poisoning is far higher that official statistics indicate – and beyond the 40 deaths, 200 hospital admissions and 4,000 A&E visits a year.”
David continued: “The All Fuels Forum works at coordinating awareness-raising, campaigning for law-change, and helping charities which support survivors and victims and their families. It works around CO and fuel poverty – the scale of fuel poverty is massive and the best way to help low income households is to improve their homes’ energy efficiency. Where energy efficiency measures make homes more airtight, we need to be all the more vigilant to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.”
David encouraged the audience to contact the Forum for any support, offering to disseminate good practice, and helping to raise awareness of the risks of CO. He ended his speech by highlighting that CO safety – getting appliances serviced, fitting audible CO alarms, and raising awareness of poisoning- can ensure that residents remain fit and healthy and help build stronger communities.