Investigation of audible carbon monoxide alarm ownership

Noora Kokkarinen (School of the Built Environment, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK)
Andy Shaw (School of the Built Environment, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK)
Jeff Cullen (School of the Built Environment, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK)
Montserrat Ortoneda Pedrola (School of the Built Environment, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK)
Alex Mason (School of the Built Environment, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK)
Ahmed Al-Shamma’a (School of the Built Environment, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK)

Smart and Sustainable Built Environment

ISSN: 2046-6099

Publication date: 13 May 2014

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to outline the level of audible carbon monoxide (CO) alarm ownership. In this particular paper the data collected by the fire and rescue services from West Midlands and Merseyside will be analysed, and discussed.

Design/methodology/approach

Research was conducted in two stages. Using the indices of multiple deprivation identified whether households in the top and bottom four areas owned an audible alarm. In stage two data loggers were placed into homes to take readings every minute for a total period of three days to three weeks.

Findings

There was a noticeable trend that deprived areas were less likely to own audible CO alarms than homes in non-deprived areas. All homes surveyed in stage two had CO levels >0 which further emphasises that anyone can be under health risk and that perhaps the maintenance of gas appliances and other sources is not being conducted at regular intervals.

Social implications

This paper aims to raise awareness regarding not only the symptoms during CO poisoning but also the ones that have been reported to occur after treatment. It will also disseminate information as to what areas have low alarm ownership and thus more at risk of poisoning. It is hoped that findings from papers such as this one will promote more stringent maintenance and replacement requirements for gas or solid fuel appliances.

Originality/value

Pilot study for the comparison of two English cities has not been conducted before and may lead to more studies of this kind.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Mark Jones, Gary Oakford and their team at Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service as well as Adrian Hutt and his team at West Midland Fire and Rescue Service for collecting data on our behalf. Additionally the authors would like to thank Leigh Greenham from the Council of Gas Detection and Environmental Monitoring for providing the data loggers and CO alarms, Jean Arrowsmith in Coventry City Council, Health Protection England (formerly Health Protection Agency) and the Health and Safety Executive for their help and continued support with this project.

This project was funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government, the Department of Health and the Gas Safety Trust (from 1 July, 2013).

Citation

Kokkarinen, N., Shaw, A., Cullen, J., Ortoneda Pedrola, M., Mason, A. and Al-Shamma’a, A. (2014), "Investigation of audible carbon monoxide alarm ownership ", Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, Vol. 3 No. 1, pp. 72-86. https://doi.org/10.1108/SASBE-07-2013-0041

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Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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