Elderly couple in CO poisoning death

Published:  02 February, 2011

An independent charity says more needs to be done to raise awareness of carbon monoxide after finding that, in 15 years, 70% of CO-related deaths occurred in the home.

An elderly couple from Longton were killed by carbon monoxide poisoning in their home after an attempt at repairing their boiler.

John and Pat Warrington were found dead by Staffordshire police after neighbours called for them to be checked on. Post-mortem exams determined they died from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.

Reports suggest Mr Warrington, 65, was trying to repair his boiler before he died. His body was found in the kitchen. That of Mrs Warrington, 62, was found in the lounge.

This comes as independent charity CO-Gas Safety released 15 years' worth of data collected on deaths and injuries sustained through CO poisoning.

According to its findings – revealed among MPs, victims affected by CO poisoning and primary school pupils at a reception held at the House of Lords – 594 people in the UK have died as a result of CO poisoning between September, 1995 and August, 2010. Areas with the most recorded deaths are the north west, south Wales and the south east. It also found that almost 70% of deaths occurred in the home.

CO-Gas Safety's chief executive officer, Stephanie Trotter OBE, said: "We are pushing for all registered gas installers to be equipped with personal alarm/air monitors (PAMs) and to carry and use flue gas analysers to test appliances for CO."

Trotter has been pushing for more awareness on the topic, adding: "People who have been affected by CO poisoning tell us time and again that they didn't even know what CO was, so how could they protect themselves?"

Also at the reception was Pimlico Plumber founder Charlie Mullins, who said: "Carbon monoxide poisoning can kill in minutes, so it's something every installer should take very seriously."