Daventry fire team leading the county

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Daventry fire Station is the first in the county to launch a campaign educating residents on the dangers of carbon monoxide.

The Daventry crew, who represent Northants fire and rescue service, have produced leaflets and informational material to raise the profile of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning and its dangers, especially in the camping season.

Keen camper, crew manager Shaun De Groot, became aware of the lack of information around CO poisoning and felt the crew needed to do something to raise awareness.

He said: “CO can go undetected because you can’t see, or smell it. People can develop flu like symptoms through exposure - the only difference is you don’t get a temperature with CO poisoning.

“As soon as you leave the CO atmosphere and start breathing oxygen again the symptoms disappear so we believe a lot more people are being exposed to it than we are aware of but longer term effects of exposure are far ranging.”

The crew hopes that in making information more accessible to residents they can prevent fatalities as camping season approaches and work towards educating people about CO safety in the home as it autumn draws in.

Firefighter Barry Marks said: “People think only gas poses a danger but anything that burns has the potential to produce CO, especially charcoal from BBQs, and the danger remains after the fire has gone out.

“The body is 200 times more attracted to carbon monoxide than oxygen – meaning people could die very quickly.”

The team is working with local camping and DIY stores to get their information out in the community and prevent fatalities. They hope in future to educate university students and vulnerable residents.

Mr De Groot said: “We are hoping the county will follow our lead on this. It’s about taking out fire prevention experience and applying it here.”