Gas cookers have been blamed for a significant rise in fatalities caused by carbon monoxide poisoning in Great Britain.
That’s the message from the UK’s leading gas safety charity, the Corgi Trust. Its annual benchmarking report says that seven of the 17 deaths caused by carbon monoxide in the last year were associated with cooking appliances, the highest number since 2000/01.
The news comes just a month after we reported on a study that revealed 81% of households don’t have an audible carbon monoxide alarm in their home, putting them at risk of death or serious injury.
Don’t miss our carbon monoxide detector reviews, where we reveal which models passed Which? safety tests.
Carbon Monoxide cooker deaths
Four of the seven deaths were linked to enclosed grill models that did not have automatic shut-off valves, which activate when the grill is used incorrectly with the grill door shut.
In contrast, the report also identifies gas cookers left on and open for prolonged periods in a small or poorly ventilated kitchen, perhaps to provide an additional source of heat, as an area of misuse that needs to be addressed.
Cookers linked to reported carbon monoxide fatalities include the Leisure Alta, the misuse of which caused two deaths, and the Belling G755Mk2 AN.
The Belling model was involved in two separate incidents – the resulting double and single fatalities were, again, caused by misuse. The make and model of cookers connected with the remaining two single fatal incidents were not recorded. We reported on a recall of these cookers, as well as cookers manufactured by Flavel and New World, last year.
Rise in carbon monoxide deaths
The Corgi Trust’s manager Nigel Dumbrell said: ‘In 2007/8 there was only one incident reported with a cooker, where as in 2008/9 there were 10, the highest number since records began in July 1996. This is higher than the fatality rate associated with boilers and therefore an area of huge concern.
‘The report therefore recommends urgent attention is given to enhance cooker safety and that the potential dangers of cooker misuse are more widely advertised.’