For this year’s Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week, npower* has released findings from its annual carbon monoxide research to highlight how at risk the UK could be from CO poisoning. The results show there is a clear disparity between the UK’s awareness of CO poisoning and the UK’s actual understanding of what the symptoms are, which appliances can be a cause and also what people should do if they suspect they are suffering from CO poisoning.
Carbon monoxide is completely invisible, it has no smell and no taste, so the only definitive way to detect a leak is with a CO alarm but despite this only two-thirds of UK homes have one installed. Following the results from the research, npower has enlisted the help of six children to bring the risks of CO to life by drawing what they think the deadly gas would look like if it wasn’t invisible. A group of talented designers then interpreted the children’s drawings to create a series of illustrated characters to give the invisible gas an identifiable persona. You can take a look at the children creating their monsters in the video here.
The research sheds light on how Britons could be worryingly underprepared to spot cases of CO poisoning. Despite 95% of the UK saying they know CO poisoning can be fatal, less than 6% are actually able to correctly identify the most common symptoms. Dizziness, headaches, nausea and vomiting, tiredness and confusion, stomach pain, shortness of breath and difficulty breathing are the most common symptoms of CO poisoning.
Further cause for concern is that 1 in 8 of us wrongly think that you can smell a CO leak and 1 in 10 Brits admit they have absolutely no idea how to identify a CO leak. Each year in the UK over 200 people are admitted to hospital with suspected CO poisoning and around 50 people die unnecessarily from it. This new research suggests people in the UK are unaware of what the symptoms of CO poisoning are, so the true number of people affected could potentially be much higher.
You can find more information here from npower about carbon monoxide and how to protect your family.
*This post has been written in collaboration with npower