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Carbon monoxide alarm saves elderly man in Burton

December 6 2018

A 90-year-old man from Burton was taken to hospital as a precaution last night (Wednesday, December 5) after suffering the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning.

This is a perfect example of why carbon monoxide detectors are important. In this case, the resident did exactly the right thing: he contacted us so we could attend and assess the situation. Fortunately, we were able to establish there was a high level of CO in his home and make sure he was removed from dangerous circumstances.

Station manager John Kitchener

A crew from Burton was sent to the property on Tutbury Road following a call to the Service received at 7.57pm. The elderly resident of the property had reported that an alarm had been sounding. He initially thought it was his smoke alarm but then suspected it may have been a carbon monoxide (CO) detector. 

A gas engineer confirmed the level of CO in the bungalow was higher than the safe limit for a domestic property and he traced the problem to a badly fitted flue. The man was assessed by paramedics at the scene and was taken to hospital for further monitoring of his condition. 

Station manager, John Kitchener said: “This is a perfect example of why carbon monoxide detectors are important. In this case, the resident did exactly the right thing: he contacted us so we could attend and assess the situation. Fortunately, we were able to establish there was a high level of CO in his home and make sure he was removed from dangerous circumstances. Carbon monoxide is odourless, so there are no tell-tale smells to warn people of its presence. People may not even be aware they’re being exposed to it. Sometimes they may just get a headache and feel tired but they won’t necessarily feel really ill. This is why a detector is essential. 

“The chimney flue was allowing CO to leak back into the property so, without a specialist inspection; the resident wouldn’t have known he had a problem. Even though he was taken to hospital, we hope he won’t be there for long and his actions have saved him from a potentially fatal outcome.” 

There is more advice about CO safety on our website https://www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk/your-safety/safety-at-home/carbon-monoxide-awareness/ or call our FREE Community Advice Team on 0800 0241 999.