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Carbon Monoxide Detection and Safety

Volume 640: debated on Monday 30 April 2018

Carbon monoxide which can be released if a boiler or fire is faulty or poorly maintained can be a silent killer.

The Government take the risk and consequences of carbon monoxide poisoning seriously and we have been working closely with my hon. Friend the Member for Walsall North (Eddie Hughes) on this important life safety issue.

The Government with their agencies continue to raise awareness about the risks. For example, our national fire safety campaign helps fire and rescue services promote carbon monoxide messaging and Gas Safety Week is a national campaign to help raise awareness in homes with gas appliances.

Regulation also has an important role to play. Since 2010, our building regulations have required carbon monoxide alarms when solid fuel appliances are installed and in 2015 we introduced further regulation to require alarms when homes that have a solid fuel appliance are privately rented. The Government have consulted recently on the effectiveness of the regulations in the private rented sector.

As a result of our actions, the number of carbon monoxide poisonings has fallen and incidents are thankfully rare but we cannot be complacent.

In recent years there have been improvements in carbon monoxide alarms and the cost has fallen and Government think it is now right to look at the requirements for carbon monoxide alarms generally to see whether they need to be strengthened.

The Government are therefore launching a review of the requirements and the evidence base which underpins these with a view to consulting by the end of the year. Any future changes in requirements would take account of the outcome of the Government’s consultation on the operation of private rented alarm regulations and the Dame Judith Hackitt independent review into building regulations and fire safety.