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OFTEC Highlights 'Excellent Safety Record' Of Oil Heating
8th April 2012
A new report by the Gas Safety Trust has highlighted, what OFTEC claims is the safety of oil-fired heating and cooking systems. The Downstream Incident Data Report (DIDR), which reviewed carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning incidents in Great Britain between 1st July 2010 and 30th June 2011, is the first DIDR to include comparative data from oil and solid fuel installations, as well as gas and piped LPG.
During the period covered by the report, there were no reported fatalities caused by CO in homes using oil, and just three non-fatal incidents, the lowest of all the fuel types. Even allowing for the difference in the number of homes using the different fuels, oil came out on top as the safest choice for domestic use. One explanation could be that heating oil systems are much more likely to be positioned externally, whilst solid fuel, LPG and mains gas systems are more likely to be sited internally. Solid fuel had the highest number of reported CO poisoning incidents.
Jeremy Hawksley, Director General of OFTEC, said "Every carbon monoxide poisoning fatality is a tragedy, so it's reassuring for oil customers to know that they're using the safest fuel for their heating and cooking needs. Oil-fired systems are less likely to release dangerous carbon monoxide than natural gas, LPG or solid fuels, and regular servicing by an OFTEC registered technician will help minimise still further the remote risk of an incident occurring."
He continued "While oil is a very safe fuel, it would be wrong to be complacent. We always urge homeowners to take sensible precautions and are very pleased to contribute to this report, which is part of our work to raise awareness of the risks posed by carbon monoxide."
The report was commissioned by the Gas Safety Trust, the UK's consumer fuel safety charity, and compiled by Downstream Gas. The data on oil-related CO incidents was supplied by OFTEC, the Oil-Fired Technical Association. The aim of the report is to increase safety, target investment on carbon monoxide incident prevention and to identify additional research work.
Article amended 11 April 2012 to clarify a statement provided by OFTEC, in response to concerns raised by The Carbon Monoxide and Gas Safety Society.