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Woodbridge man calls for more carbon monoxide alarms to be installed after family near-miss

PUBLISHED: 15:35 07 March 2018

Patrick Kelly is trying to raise awareness about the importance of carbon monoxide alarms.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Patrick Kelly is trying to raise awareness about the importance of carbon monoxide alarms. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Archant

A Suffolk grandfather wants to encourage more people to buy carbon monoxide alarms after the devices potentially saved the lives of members of his family.

Patrick and Patricia Kelly want to raise awareness about the importance of carbon monoxide alarms. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNPatrick and Patricia Kelly want to raise awareness about the importance of carbon monoxide alarms. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Patrick Kelly from Woodbridge says that relatives were lucky to survive after one of the devices alerted them to the presence of the poisonous gas in their home.

The family, which included three children all under the age of ten, went to A+E where the gas was found to be in their blood.

They have since been treated.

Now Mr Kelly wants to raise awareness of the devices and encourage more people to install them in their homes.

“I called my granddaughter,” said Mr Kelly, “and she didn’t know what it was.

“I want to make people aware that they have to put this in.”

Mr Kelly believes that there is a particular need for the devices given the increasing number of people who are renting properties.

Currently private sector landlords only have to provide a carbon monoxide alarm in rooms containing solid fuel burning stoves, i.e. coal fires or wood burning stoves.

They then have to prove that the alarms are in working order at the start of each new tenancy.

This is in contrast to smoke alarms, one of which have to be installed on each storey of a property.

In Mr Kelly’s family’s case the carbon monoxide is thought to have come from a gas leak and so the landlord was under no legal obligation to have the carbon monoxide detector installed.

County councillor for Woodbridge, Caroline Page said: “I’m horrified that a potential tragedy could occur so easily and without warning.

“I’m very happy that nothing worse happened on this occasion.

“We must do everything we can to raise awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide.

“As Patrick says a monoxide alarm is the price of four or five pints of beer.

“Look at the cost of that against your life and happiness!”

Councillor Matthew Hicks,is the Cabinet Member for environment, public protection and broadband for Suffolk County Council, he said: “Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service strongly encourage the use of Carbon Monoxide alarms in the home as they provide early warning of a potentially life threatening event.

“They should be tested weekly alongside smoke alarms to ensure they are working properly.”

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