Mother Anne Mitchell's plea over CO gas detectors

Alex Mitchell Anne Mitchell came home to find Alex dead from carbon monoxide poisoning

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A woman whose teenage daughter was killed by carbon monoxide poisoning (CO) from a badly fitted fire is urging people to invest in a CO alarm at home.

Anne Mitchell got to her home in Cwmbran, Torfaen, on Good Friday in March 2005 to find her daughter Alex, 14, collapsed.

Her call comes as a UK government report says all new homes should be fitted with CO detectors.

Mrs Mitchell said: "They [CO alarms] should be mandatory."

The man who carried out the work at Mrs Mitchell's home in Cwmbran, Torfaen, was later jailed.

Mrs Mitchell has since campaigned to raise awareness of the dangers of CO poisoning and the risks of using gas fitters who are not trained or qualified to carry out using gas supplies.

The Gas Safe Register replaced Corgi the registration scheme for gas fitters on 1 April 2009.

The organisation said 10 people died in the UK last year and more than 330 were injured from gas related incidents.

Mrs Mitchell said: "Good Friday is always bad Friday for me now.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning

Carbon monoxide gas molecules
  • Headaches
  • Breathlessness
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Collapse
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Tiredness
  • Vomiting

Source: Health and Safety Executive

"Easter means nothing to me now.

"I came home to find my dog dead in the hall. I found my daughter dead upstairs on the bedroom floor.

"I didn't even think it was gas at that time. I just knew there was something wrong with the fire. It had been turned on and had blown out.

"I just don't want anybody else to go through this. There's not enough information out there. People just aren't aware of it."

Mrs Mitchell said she would have bought a CO detector if the gas fitter had mentioned it to her.

She said: "It's your first line of defence. It will pick it up."

The Gas Safe Register said seven illegal gas fitters had been jailed since it was set up and 2,000 others investigated.

In a statement, it said: "However, research shows that the public are still too trusting of tradesmen, with one in three trusting a tradesman to work on their gas appliances on recommendation alone."

Clive Betts MP, chair of the UK government's Communities and Local Government Committee, said: "The government should oversee a co-ordinated public awareness campaign by the various industry organisations to raise public awareness of carbon monoxide poisoning and ensure homeowners appreciate that they themselves are liable for faulty gas or electrical installations and repairs."

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