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Published on Friday, February 7, 2020

Skiers warned to be aware of carbon monoxide risks

Just one in 10 ski chalets and apartments listed on peer-to-peer rental sites has a carbon monoxide alarm installed, according to research by Safer Tourism Foundation.

The foundation says that, while people know the risks they face on the slopes, most won't be aware of the potential threat to life of the toxic colourless and odourless gas.  

Blocked flues and chimneys, which can happen as a result of heavy snowfall, can stop carbon monoxide gas escaping, and this toxic gas can seep in from neighbouring properties. 

Safer Tourism Foundation chief executive Katherine Atkinson said: "We are calling for winter holidaymakers to improve landlords' and hosts' approach to carbon monoxide by asking about the risks at the property:  Is there is an alarm? When were the appliances last serviced?  Customer demand is a potent force in raising awareness of this important issue and in helping to drive up standards".

"But for total peace of mind, I urge the thousands of families who, like mine, are preparing to hit the slopes for the half-term holiday, to pack a portable carbon monoxide alarm alongside the lip salve, sunscreen and first aid kit.  It is the only proven method to keep your family safe from toxic gas."

Carbon monoxide poisoning can feel like flu but without the fever.  The six main symptoms are headaches, dizziness, nausea, breathlessness, collapse and loss of consciousness.

If a detector alarm sounds, or if anyone shows signs of carbon monoxide poisoning, the advice is:

  • Go outside into the fresh air immediately.
  • Ask for medical support and ask for a proper diagnosis.
  • Service the appliances.  If tests confirm carbon monoxide poisoning tell the people who are responsible for the accommodation straight away so they can carry out the necessary repairs and testing.


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