Life-Saving Carbon Monoxide (CO) Alarm in Merthyr Tydfil

Our crews responded to a CO alarm actuation last night (11th February 2020) in a property where a family of three were living in Dowlais, Merthyr Tydfil.

The family which included a four month old baby were advised to leave the property immediately by our Fire Control as a safety precaution and await arrival of our crews.

On attendance, the occupiers advised our crews that, only a couple of months ago Firefighters from Merthyr Tydfil Fire and Rescue Station visited them and fitted smoke, heat and CO alarms.

The CO alarm sounded following a leak of carbon monoxide from within the property and the gas detector recorded a reading of 30PPM (parts per million). Crews entered the property in breathing apparatus, ventilated and requested the attendance of Wales & West Utilities, who upon their arrival capped the gas supply.

After 15 minutes of the house being ventilated our gas detector recorded a reading of zero.  Those living in the property advised our firefighters they hadn’t been feeling well, and thought it could be signs of carbon monoxide poisoning. They were treated by paramedics at the scene and were taken to hospital.

All adjacent properties in the area have now been checked and have confirmed CO readings of zero.

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, Head of Home Safety, Group Manager Neil Davies commented ‘Carbon monoxide is a silent killer, with numerous deaths every year caused from accidental poisoning. You cannot see it, taste it or smell it but CO can kill quickly with little warning. It’s extremely important to ensure you have a working CO alarm in your home as symptoms can be easily confused with just feeling unwell. It’s really important to fit a CO alarm in all rooms containing solid fuel gas, or paraffin heaters. It’s also a good idea to familiarise yourself with the signs of CO poisoning, and learn what to do if you suspect someone may be affected.’

CO is a colourless, odourless, tasteless, poisonous gas produced by the incomplete burning of carbon based fuels, such as gas, oil, wood and coal. Fuel burning appliances such as st​oves, fires, boilers and water heaters can produce CO if they are incorrectly fitted, badly repaired or poorly maintained or if flues, chimneys or vents are blocked.

For safety advice on CO please click on the following link: CO Safety Advice.