Warning Call by Ambulance Service

With winter approaching, make sure your home is safe.

AmbulanceSpecialist paramedics from the Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) are urging people throughout the West Midlands to fit a carbon monoxide alarm to their home.

The call comes less than 48 hours after ambulance crews had to take six people to hospital from Wolverhampton after suffering carbon monoxide poisoning.

Each year carbon monoxide poisoning kills around 50 people in England and results in 200 being hospitalised with another 4,000 needing emergency treatment. With Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week starting on Monday 19th November, West Midlands Ambulance Service is supporting the campaign to get everyone to fit an alarm that could save their life.

John Woodhall, who is a paramedic and support manager with the West Midlands HART Team, said: “Carbon monoxide is a silent killer which leads to deaths every year. It is a poisonous gas that has no smell or taste and breathing it and can kill you.”

He added, “The vast majority of people now have smoke alarms. Having a carbon monoxide alarm similarly doesn’t cost much, but what price can you put on the life of a loved one?”

Other ways to prevent tragedy is to make sure gas and fuel appliances are properly installed and maintained. HART are calling on residents and home-owners to be vigilant and check that heating appliances are working properly and are well ventilated.

The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are very similar to those for flu and food poisoning including persistent headaches, a sore throat and eyes, sickness and tiredness. Exposure to levels that produce only minor symptoms may, in some cases, be associated with lasting neurological effects, such as memory loss and difficulties in concentrating. John added, “Get an alarm fitted and make sure it, along with your smoke alarm, works each week. Your life could depend on it.”

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