Preventable gas poisonings rise sharply

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. Picture: Wikimedia Commons/M.Minderhoud

The number of deaths because of carbon monoxide poisoning is increasing because of mistakes in the installation of new central heating boilers. Tjibbe Joustra, President of the Safety Board, says that installers are often not qualified.

Every year carbon monoxide poisoning causes an average of 10 deaths and a hundred injuries. The usual cause used to be old fashioned open geysers, which produce the odorless gas through incomplete combustion.

According to the program Dit is de Dag Onderzoek, the number of accidents with carbon monoxide increased last year, while fewer old geysers are used in Dutch homes. In 2013 boilers were the cause in 83 cases. Geysers were responsible in 30 cases.  Mistakes are made during the installation of boilers, causing gas to escape.

"Carbon monoxide is an underestimated problem. There are a lot of victims." says Joustra. "We find it important that skilled people com to do the installation. People have the right to that."

Fire Department Netherlands believes that there should be requirements for the quality of installers and wants the government to regulate it. They also want an immediate ban on the use of old geysers. According to Charles Meijer of the Fire Department Netherlands, the reduction of these geysers is still too slow.

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