The Bobby Scheme is tackling a silent killer by launching a funding campaign to fit carbon monoxide alarms in the homes of vulnerable and elderly people across the region.
As temperatures drop and heating is switched on, people may not be aware that their lives are in danger. According to the national “CO Be Alarmed” campaign, which raises awareness of the dangers of CO, more than 50 people a year die from carbon monoxide poisoning, with another 4000 requiring hospital treatment.
A poisonous gas with no smell or taste, Carbon monoxide can be produced by any fossil fuel burning device, from gas cookers to wood burners. . Breathing CO can leave victims feeling very ill or, if exposed to it over a long period or at high levels, it can kill. To be safe, a detector should be fitted within three metres of each device, so every household needs a number of them positioned around the home.
The Bobby Scheme plans to install 280 carbon monoxide (CO) detectors across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight over the winter period, at a cost of £3,500. However, with around 40% of homes nationwide without a CO detector, The Bobby Scheme is calling on local businesses to help fund more of the life-saving devices.
Bobby Scheme fitter Steven O’Halloran visits homes to give safety advice and fits CO detectors for those who need them: “We should all have detectors near any device we burn fuel in,” he said. “In my view having a CO detector is just as important as a smoke detector.”
David Watkins is Business Development Manager of the Blue Lamp Trust which funds and operates the Bobby Scheme in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
“Carbon monoxide is a potential killer in every home but particularly for the elderly or vulnerable,” said David. “We usually need to fit several detectors in each home and with another £3,500 we could help twice as many of the most vulnerable members of our society. They’re simple devices, but they can save a life.”