East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service is now urging residents to install a working carbon monoxide (CO) alarm, alongside a smoke alarm, following the incident at a property in Old London Road on Saturday (December 10).
Firefighters from Preston Circus were called at 9.37pm, to assist Sussex Police after reported gas leak in a terraced house which had affected the neighbouring properties. Three people were taken to hospital.
Assistant Chief Fire Officer Mark Andrews said: “If they did not have a working carbon monoxide alarm alerting them to what was going on, the situation could have been much worse.
“Carbon monoxide poisoning is known as the silent killer as you can’t see it, taste it or smell it, but CO can kill quickly, without warning.
“We would urge everyone to invest in a fully functioning carbon monoxide alarm and for people to ensure that their gas appliances are regularly serviced – ‘look after them and they will look after you’.
“A poorly-maintained gas appliance can cause carbon monoxide poisoning. Undoubtedly, on this occasion this working CO alarm did its job. Don’t forget that there are also rights and responsibilities for gas safety as a tenant, landlord or homeowner.
“Also, people sometimes forget that barbecues can be lethal in enclosed spaces too. Although we are not in the season for camping never bring your barbecue inside for extra heat, or to cook on. A portable barbecue should never be taken into an enclosed space, like a tent or caravan. Carbon Monoxide is highly poisonous and can kill in minutes.”
The fire service said every year, around 20 people die from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by gas systems that haven’t been installed, or maintained, properly. Many others also suffer ill health.
Signs and symptoms to look out for include: mild headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and drowsiness.