Carbon monoxide detectors for Cornish foster families

Carbon monoxide (CO) detectors are to be installed at 200 foster carer homes in Cornwall

The detectors were given to Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) and the Gas Safe charity.

CO is produced by the incomplete burning of fuels, including gas, oil, wood and coal.

Inhaling the colourless, odourless gas, reduces the blood’s ability to carry oxygen and can be fatal.

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The silent killer

  • Carbon monoxide is released when a fuel burns with insufficient oxygen – incomplete combustion
  • Inhaling it reduces blood’s ability to carry oxygen, leaving organs and cells starved of oxygen
  • Humans cannot smell, see or hear the poisonous gas
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning kills about 50 people in the UK every year

Source: BBC Health

CO poisoning is thought to have been responsible for the death of a woman and her three dogs in St Ives earlier this month.

In January, a barking dog saved a family’s life when their Cornish home was filled with a “potentially fatal dose” of the gas.

“We have seen a big increase in the number of carbon monoxide incidents in Cornwall over recent years,” fire manager Mark Blatchford said.

“A carbon monoxide detector is as important as a smoke alarm as it provides a valuable early warning.”

The detectors will be distributed thoughCornwall Council’s Family Placement Service.

Service manager Nigel Jackson said they wanted “to protect our children and carers as best we can”.