Carbon monoxide awareness campaign, pressure mounting

A CAMPAIGN has been launched to persuade travel companies to ensure that all holiday accommodation meets an EU wide level of safety standards.

The parents of the two children who died recently after inhaling fumes from a faulty boiler while on holiday, were among campaigners calling on the travel industry to sponsor an independent audit of holiday accommodation.

They want the Association of British Travel Agents (Abta) to assure travellers that accommodation featured by British tour operators will meet British gas standards.

Christianne Shepherd, aged seven and her six-year-old brother, Robert, were overcome by carbon monoxide gas fumes while staying in a four-star apartment at the Louis Corcyra Beach Hotel, in Corfu, in October. Their parents, Neil Shepherd and Sharon Wood from Horbury, West Yorkshire, were among those at the House of Lords to help launch Carbon Monoxide Awareness Day.

The charity, Carbon Monoxide and Gas Safety Society (CO-Gas Safety), has joined forces with Consumer Safety International and support group CO-Awareness to demand that the fuel and tourism industries pay for a campaign to highlight the dangers of carbon monoxide.

Reported deaths caused by carbon monoxide poisoning increased by 33 per cent between 2003/4 and 2004/5. A CO-Gas Safety spokesman said: “Poisonous gas emissions in homes, holiday accommodation and work places are a national and international disgrace. A European directive is essential.”

But Abta chief executive, Mark Tanzer, admitted that it would be hard to ensure British standards were met across the continent. “Whether abroad or at home, it can never be a risk free world and tragic accidents will always happen from time to time, no matter what rules and regulations are in place,” he said. However, Mr Tanzer said Abta would support moves to introduce EU wide standards to ensure consistent protection for holidaymakers on a range of safety and security issues.