Check boilers says Hornchurch mum after son suffers carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms
PUBLISHED: 07:17 14 March 2017 | UPDATED: 15:00 16 March 2017
The mother of a two-year-old boy who was taken to hospital last week with suspected carbon monoxide poisoning said more should be done to protect families in private-rented accommodation.
When Rose Walker, 22, of Sunrise Avenue, Hornchurch, began developing headaches she visited her doctor who, based on symptoms described, suggested she ask Havering Council – who had placed her in temporary private accommodation – to check her boiler.
But Miss Walker said a council worker referred her back to the property’s landlord, during which time her young son became ill, complaining of headaches and being sick.
“I phoned National Grid who came round and discovered carbon monoxide fumes were leaking from the boiler,” she said.
“After that my son [Joey Moyes] came down really ill. The ambulance service sent a special ambulance round to check carbon monoxide in the body and he was taken to hospital for further checks.”
According to her, doctors said Joey did not have enough carbon monoxide in his system to cause any lasting damage.
The London Ambulance Service confirmed it sent a Hazard Area Response Team to the property and took young Joey to hospital.
A spokeswoman for National Grid said: “Following the discussion with the person at the property and the fact that the CO alarm went off, we turned off the gas boiler and put a safety sticker on it.”
Although the property is leased in the private sector, Miss Walker was moved from a hostel by the council into the property.
The mum-of-four said she has lived there for two years.
According to information on the national charity Shelter’s website, councils must make sure that the plumbing, gas and electricity are working safely in temporary accommodation.
A spokesman for Havering Council said: “In line with legislation, all boilers are subject to annual safety checks, and an inspection was carried out at this property within the last year. The boiler at the property has been turned off and made secure, and a manufacturer engineer has been called.
“We will be able to comment further once all checks are complete.”
Miss Walker said: “More action should have been taken as soon as I mentioned it. It [carbon monoxide] is very dangerous.”
Kevin Treanor, director of CORGI HomePlan added: “Carbon monoxide still kills around 50 people a year and every one of these deaths is avoidable.
“People must minimise the risks by making sure all their gas appliances are in full working order.”
For more information on the dangers and tips on how to keep your family safe, visit Corgi HomePlan