An unusual incident: carbon monoxide poisoning risk in 540 homes due to faulty wood burner installations

R. Cushen, H. Brunt, S. Jones*, H. Lewis, P. Callow, A. Kibble

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Background: This report describes the public health management of an unusual incident involving an increased risk of carbon monoxide (CO) exposure due to the installation of at least 541 wood burners in a local authority area in Wales. Public health actions: An incident management team (IMT) was convened. The IMT assessed and managed the public health risk associated with the wood burners and promoted CO awareness in the local population. Outcomes: At least 541 homes were found to have had a wood burner potentially incorrectly installed by a Heating Equipment Testing and Approval Scheme–registered engineer. Local residents were made aware of the dangers and provided with free CO alarms. Conclusions: This incident highlights that even registered engineers may fail to follow guidelines. It is important to inform the public of the need to have a working CO alarm at home, as well as educating the public and professionals about the symptoms and signs of CO poisoning.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)17-20
    Number of pages4
    JournalPublic Health
    Volume173
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019

    Bibliographical note

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2019 The Royal Society for Public Health

    Keywords

    • Air quality
    • Carbon monoxide
    • Public health

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