Monday 24 December 2012

Gas safe message to reach millions through Corrie episode this Boxing Day

As the country prepares for Christmas, home maintenance and carbon monoxide (CO) awareness can be topics easily forgotten amid the hustle and bustle of the festive season.
But this Boxing Day, millions of viewers will be reminded of the tragedy the silent killer can cause as popular Coronation Street character, Fiz Brown, suffers from CO poisoning.
Single mother and factory worker Fiz, played by Jennie McAlpine, will succumb to CO after she gets her friend Tyrone to fix her boiler so she can save money. Tyrone is a car mechanic who is not qualified to mend a boiler and his attempt leads to devastating consequences.
The story will highlight to the soap’s eight million viewers how illegal and unqualified gas work is dangerous and can lead to CO poisoning.
The Gas Safe Register has been working with ITV to ensure that the dangers of gas, in particular the symptoms of CO poisoning, are portrayed properly to the public.
Awareness group CO Angels is also eager to raise the profile of the dangers of CO poisoning, reinforcing the importance of maintaining appliances and fitting a CO alarm.
Working alongside the awareness group, Nick Rutter, managing director of Sprue Safety Products, manufacturer of the FireAngel range of CO alarms, said: “With the cold winter weather upon us many will be firing up their heating systems and lighting fires to create a cosy Christmas atmosphere, but if boilers have not been serviced or chimneys and flues have been left unchecked, people can be putting themselves at risk of CO poisoning.”
To help people stay safe this Christmas, and all year round, the Heating & Hotwater Industry Council (HHIC) has drawn up a list of five top tips for homeowners.
1. Make sure your heating engineer is Gas Safe Registered and ask to see ID
2. Get your boiler annually serviced for safety and to save money
3. As well as Gas Safe Registered an installer can also belong to the HHIC national Benchmark scheme, which provides added reassurance regarding competency
4. Fit a carbon monoxide alarm inside your home
5. Be aware of the symptoms of CO poisoning. Remember the six main symptoms to look out for according to Gas Safe Register: headaches, dizziness, nausea, breathlessness, collapse and loss of consciousness.
“The attention given to this important issue by Coronation Street producers will be very powerful and it reinforces the messages that our industry is keen to get the public to hear,” said Roger Webb, HHIC director.
For more information visit the Gas Safe Charity website.

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