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Deaths from unintentional CO poisoning in the UK 1995-2019, by appliance type

The Carbon Monoxide and Gas Safety society (CO-Gas Safety) is an independent registered charity which aims to reduce the number of accidents from carbon monoxide poisoning and other gas dangers.

Difficulties
The prompt diagnosis of carbon monoxide poisoning can be extremely difficult due to dissipatory characteristics of the carbon monoxide gas itself the myriad of non-specific symptoms which may mimic other illnesses. As a result of these difficulties the number of deaths or injuries associated with CO poisonings remained largely unknown until the establishment of CO-Gas Safety.

Database
Identifying the potential opportunity to identify the cause, and subsequently reduce the number of carbon monoxide poisoning related deaths and injuries, CO-Gas Safety have collected information relating to cases of unintentional poisoning caused by the carbon monoxide produced by fuels used in combustion appliances from 1995 to present. Specifically, any incident where a fire or appliance involving combustion was intentionally used, but the resulting carbon monoxide poisoning was not expected and was avoidable. In making that distinction it is clarified that deaths or injuries from carbon monoxide produced by unintentional fire or flames are not included in this analysis. These data not only detail the cumulative number of deaths from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning they also detail the share of these deaths by causative appliance.

Appliances
This statistic presents the share of deaths from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning in the United Kingdom (UK) from 1995 to 2019, by appliance type. In this period, central heating boiler systems, which includes mains gas, oil and solid fuel systems and back boiler systems, were responsible for the greatest share of deaths from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning attributed to any single appliance, attributed to 26 percent of recorded cases. The second largest share of deaths was attributed to room heaters with 18 percent, followed by cookers, engines and gas fires, with nine percent, eight percent and eight percent respectively. From these findings its unsurprising that the greatest number of deaths from unintentional carbon monoxide poisonings occur at home. Despite this only ten percent respondents in Northern Ireland said that they protect themselves from carbon monoxide poisoning by regularly testing their carbon monoxide alarm, and only half of the respondents have installed a carbon monoxide alarm in their home to protect against carbon monoxide poisoning.

Share of deaths from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning in the United Kingdom (UK) from 1995 to 2019, by appliance type

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Sources

Release date

February 2020

Region

United Kingdom

Survey time period

September 1995 to August 2019

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