HC Deb 12 February 1998 vol 306 cc396-7W
Mr. Coaker

To ask the President of the Board of Trade how many people suffered accidental carbon monoxide poisoning in the home in each of the last five years; how many of these died as a result; what steps are currently being taken and what measures are planned to reduce the number of such cases. [28978]

Mr. Nigel Griffiths

[holding answer 11 February 1998]: The following figures refer to accidents involving faulty heating appliances.

In the period 1992–96 (available figures to date) the estimated figures for non-fatal accidental injuries (resulting in attendance at Accident and Emergency) due to carbon monoxide poisoning in Great Britain from faulty home heating appliances are estimated as follows:

  • 1992: 244
  • 1993: 105
  • 1994: 211
  • 1995: 125
  • 1996: 247.

The estimated fatalities from carbon monoxide poisoning owing to faulty domestic heating appliances are:

  • 1992: 50
  • 1993: 31 1
  • 1994: 301
  • 1995: 281
  • 1996–97: 21 1 (provisional figure).
  • 1 Flammable gas source only.

Figures are drawn from the Office for National Statistics, the DTI Home Accident Surveillance System, the DTI report on Carbon Monoxide poisoning from Domestic Heating Appliances, and the Health and Safety Executive.

More comprehensive information could be produced only at disproportionate costs.

In September 1997 I initiated a five point campaign to tackle the issue of carbon monoxide poisoning. This has resulted in: A safety advice leaflet, containing vital information on safeguarding against CO poisoning, being circulated to doctors' surgeries up and down the country. The continuing re-broadcasting of our three TV safety adverts, together with a new fourth advert. 19 million households receiving our safety advice leaflet enclosed in their gas bills. A further distribution of 100,000 separate booklets concentrating on the dangers from faulty gas and solid fuel appliances. The publicising of Freephone advice numbers for gas and solid fuel users.