Carbon monoxide poisoning: University of Portsmouth graduate teams up with Gas Safe Register after ending up in hospital when her uni house had a gas leak
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Charlotte Meredith, 24, is spreading the word on gas safety after a serious gas leak in her rented accommodation while she was studying at university, left her hospitalised.
The 24-year-old, who has now graduated from the university with a degree in sociology and criminology, was in rented housing in Southsea, for her second and third year, with her friends when they all started to become unwell with migraines.
The group of students were aware of a problem with their oven and they were unable to use it for a couple of weeks while waiting for it to be fixed.
The landlord got an engineer out to have a look at the oven, a new element was fitted and the students carried on with their lives.
Upon entering the kitchen, they noticed a strong smell of gas, and thy called the gas board, who came out within the hour and detected that there was a gas leak, making it unsafe for them to stay there.
She said: ‘If you are in rented housing I think it is good to establish from the get-go who is responsible for checking the detector, you or them.
‘Because it wasn’t our home, things like that weren’t things on our minds but I think there should be more information when you move in.
‘It could have been a lot worse because we had a gas oven so if there was a flame or something, it could have been worse – I want to stress the importance of knowing these things as it could have been much worse situation.’
Now a homeowner herself, Charlotte wants to warn others of the danger signs of carbon monoxide poisoning and has joined a national campaign, organised by Gas Safe Register to achieve this.
The survery revealed that 47 per cent of people either do not have a carbon monoxide detector in their home, or if they do, they cannot be sure that it is working properly.
Carbon monoxide has no smell and can be difficult to detect making it imperative to understand the danger signs which include yellow flames coming out of appliances rather than the usual blue flame, increased condensation and the pilot light frequently blowing out.
Bob Kerr, gas services director at Gas Safe Register, said: ‘We’re all feeling pressure on our finances at the moment but taking our Gas Safety Challenge this Winter is a fast, fun and free way to brush up on what you know and to check there are no dangers hiding in plain sight in your home.’