Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week Central Housing Group

Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week: Everything Landlords Need To Know – Originally Posted by NRLA

Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week runs from 21-27 November and is organised by the All-Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group (APPCOG).

Carbon Monoxide. It can’t be seen, tasted or smelt, but it is estimated that over 200 people are hospitalised with suspected CO poisoning each year in the UK alone, leading to 60 fatalities.

The campaign aims to raise awareness of the so-called ‘silent killer’, and to help consumers and the public understand more about risks that need to be addressed to avoid a situation where carbon monoxide poisoning could occur.

Coinciding with this awareness week, the NRLA is also reminding landlords of their gas safety responsibilities.

Law change

One of the main themes of the campaign this year is to raise awareness of a recent change to rules around CO alarms in England.

At the start of October, the rules around carbon monoxide detectors in rented properties changed. As a result, any room with a fuel burning appliance will normally require a carbon monoxide alarm. The legislation also requires landlords to take action when tenants report a faulty alarm to them. The only exemption to this is rooms where the only appliance in the room is a gas cooker.

The regulations apply both to houses and flats and also to HMOs; and are included in HMO licences. Failure to comply can lead to a civil penalty being imposed of up to £5,000.

Meanwhile in Wales, from 1st December 2022, when the Renting Homes (Wales) Act is introduced, private landlords will have a legal requirement to provide a battery-powered carbon monoxide sensor in every room that has a solid fuel burning appliance. There is no grace period for this, every privately rented property in Wales that requires a sensor must have one by this date, and landlords must also be able to prove this was done. Understand more about all the changes the Renting Homes (Wales) Act will introduce, in our Wales hub for landlords.

What can cause there to be carbon monoxide?

There are a whole host of causes of carbon monoxide, but appliances that can cause CO include gas boilers, gas cookers, gas or paraffin heaters, wood, gas and coal fires and portable generators. (source: NHS).  According to HSE, using barbeques or camping stoves inside, and turning on vehicle or lawn mower engines in your garage can also be a cause.

Signs there might be carbon monoxide present in a property include yellow or orange flames (instead of blue flames), aside from fuel effect fires of flueless appliances which display this colour flame. Soot could also be a sign, as could pilot lights that frequently blow out.

What are the common signs of carbon monoxide?

Carbon Monoxide poisoning can be fatal. Symptoms can vary, but according to the NHS, signs of carbon monoxide poisoning include tension type headaches, confusion, muscle aches, dizziness, nausea and feeling weak. Other more severe symptoms could include breathlessness, collapse and loss of consciousness.

Understand all of your gas safety obligations

The NRLA has plenty of resources online to help members understand their responsibilities around gas safety and ensuring properties are safe.

Landlords of rented residential accommodation must have an annual gas safety check carried out on gas appliances which they provide (and all related gas flues). This work must be performed by a Gas Safe Registered Engineer, and once the check has been performed the landlord will receive a copy of the Gas Safety Certificate (or CP12 as it is often referred to) from the engineer.

Blog Post from NRLA

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