Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless, tasteless and highly poisonous gas produced by the incomplete combustion of gaseous fuels where gas appliances are not installed or maintained properly.
Faulty or poorly maintained gas appliances present a very high risk of causing carbon monoxide poisoning, which at dangerous levels can cause chronic illness, and at deadly levels, death.
The human body doesn’t recognise when carbon monoxide is present and that is why carbon monoxide is often referred to as the silent killer. Many lives have been lost in circumstances that were preventable due to carbon monoxide poisoning.
Recently Victoria’s energy safe regulator issued a warning for two gas heater models that produce high levels of the potentially deadly gas carbon monoxide.
A warning prompted after a decision was made to conduct a coronial inquest into the death of a Melbourne woman, Sonia Sofianopolous from carbon monoxide poisoning last winter.
Sonia was found dead in her Greensborough public housing unit last July after inhaling carbon monoxide from her gas heater. Slater and Gordon is presently representing her family.
With the colder months fast approaching, faulty or poorly maintained gas appliances pose a very high risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Every homeowner; real estate agent; government body and, every tenant – via their landlord – should take active steps in protecting themselves, persons they have a legal responsibility and duty to protect and of course their loved ones.
Three simple ways to do this are:
- Have all gas appliances fitted by a licenced gasfitter.
- Servicing all gas appliances regularly, as per the manufacturers recommendation or at least every two years as recommended by Energy Safe Victoria.
- Having a high standard audible carbon monoxide alarm fitted outside sleeping areas and living areas
Hence, before the winter heating season begins have your gas heater serviced and continue servicing it at least once every two years. A qualified registered gasfitter can install and properly look after the servicing of a gas heater.
These preventative measures are inexpensive and more importantly can save lives. So as the weather cools in Melbourne, make sure your home isn’t harbouring a silent killer.