The CO Research Trust has responded to the tragic double fatality from possible carbon monoxide poisoning on 14th February 2023 in Kent.

Adrian McConnell, Chief Executive Officer said.

“The CO Research Trust is saddened to hear of a possible double fatality from carbon monoxide poisoning. Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Leah Churchill and Brooke Wanstall. The research we carry out alongside other organisations seeks to improve the understanding of carbon monoxide and its effects on health.

Tragedies like this remind us that there is still a long way to go to improve safety and make people aware of the dangers and risks of dealing with carbon monoxide, not just at home but in places of work too.”

What is carbon monoxide?

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a poisonous gas that has no smell or taste. Breathing it in can make you unwell, and it can kill if you're exposed to high levels.

What are the causes?
Carbon monoxide (CO) is released when a fuel, such as gas, oil, coal, and wood, does not burn fully. Household appliances, such as gas fires, boilers, central heating systems, water heaters, cookers, and open fires, may be possible sources of CO gas.

Running a car engine in an enclosed space can also cause CO poisoning.

Generators should never be used inside your house, in partly enclosed areas such as garages, basements, porches or sheds, or in partly enclosed spaces such as carports. Generators should be used outside, far away, and downwind from any buildings.

CO leaks can happen when an appliance has been incorrectly fitted, badly repaired, or poorly maintained. It can also occur if flues, chimneys, or vents are blocked.

What should you do about it?
If you suspect you have been exposed to carbon monoxide, get fresh air immediately. Open doors and windows, turn off gas appliances and leave the house. See your doctor or go to your local A&E straight away.

A blood test or breath test will confirm the amount of carboxyhaemoglobin in your blood. Medical professionals can advise if you need treatment for CO poisoning.

How do you prevent CO poisoning?
Get your appliances checked regularly and get an audible CO alarm fitted.

For more information relating to consumer advice on carbon monoxide poisoning, please see the following.

Other Resources

Gas Safe Register

Gas Safe Register operates the official list of gas businesses and qualified gas engineers that work for those businesses, as required by law, to ensure only those qualified engineers are licensed to legally work on gas.


If you suspect that you are suffering from the symptoms of CO poisoning, you can visit the NHS website for more information. They can advise what action to take and the treatment that is usually provided. Your symptoms may be less severe when you’re away from the source of the carbon monoxide.

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About the CO Research Trust

The CO Research Trust is a registered charity which was established in 2005. The vision of the charity is a world where people are not exposed to carbon monoxide (CO).

For more information please contact;

Natalie Fleck

CO Research Trust

Follow us: @COResearchTrust

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