Hackney Homes’ Carbon Monoxide (CO) initiative makes its mark in 2nd year
Published by Natalie Powell for Hackney Homes in Housing and also in Local Government
Hackney Homes’ mission to prevent carbon monoxide emissions and protect tenants has not gone unnoticed thanks to some recent recognition from the Health Protection Agency (HPA), working in partnership with Hackney Homes.
Given the potential dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning, Hackney Homes’ decision to install CO alarm devices in over 21,000 properties since January 2010 was used as an example of good practice in a recent presentation by HPA.
When an alarm is activated in one of the properties managed by Hackney Homes, a member of staff visits to ensure the property is safe; it is then reported to the gas customer service team. They arrange for a Gas Inspector to carry out an investigation to identify the cause of the alarm being activated.
Using data collected from a six month period, HPA were able to understand the extent of carbon monoxide exposure in private homes.
Between November 2011 and April 2012, 104 incidents were reported to Hackney Homes where the CO alarm was activated. Inspection results highlighted that in addition to boilers, cookers are also a major source of CO exposure in the home both faulty cookers giving off excess CO, and improper methods of cooking producing excessive amounts of CO.
From January 2012 to date, Gas Inspectors have attended 110 reported incidents where a CO alarm was activated and have helped educate residents about safe cooking methods, including ventilating the kitchen when cooking, using the correct pan size and ensuring that cookers in flats have flame supervision devices (FSDs) attached.
Dr Jill Meara from HPA said:
“Hackney Homes has clearly worked extremely hard and invested, in protecting the health of its residents from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, it has raised awareness and educated the public on how to prevent CO poisoning.
“CO poisoning is difficult to diagnose and can often be missed by doctors because the symptoms mimic many other common diseases (e.g. flu-like illness and food poisoning).
“The HPA has analysed the CO incident reports collected by Hackney Homes and has gained a valuable insight into the potential causes of carbon monoxide poisoning in privately owned homes.”
Jim Paterson, Head of Building Maintenance and Estate Environment for Hackney Homes said:
“We are committed to protecting our tenants and ensuring that all Hackney Homes’ properties are fit to serve. We have so far been successful in our aims and are delighted to be used as an example of good practice by HPA.”