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One in 20 private renters in Scotland suffer carbon monoxide poisoning

According to new research, one in 20 private renters in Scotland say that they have suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning in their home over the last five years.

Shelter Scotland and Scottish Gas found that, alongside the worrying carbon dioxide figures, 43 per cent of renters reported that their landlord or letting agent had not carried out a gas safety check at the property over the last five years. Seven per cent of those renters said that they had suffered a gas leak at their property in that time.

Graeme Brown, Shelter Scotland director, told The Scotsman: “It’s shocking to think that in thousands of households across Scotland there are disasters waiting to happen because a simple safety check has not taken place.

“For households with children, this is an even bigger concern. Renters have a right to know that the property they are living in is safe. It’s absolutely vital that tenants are aware of the need to get an annual gas safety check.

“Meanwhile, landlords need to know that gas safety is not optional. Failing to get a gas safety check can and does put lives at risk”, added Mr Brown.

Following the worrying discoveries, Shelter Scotland has teamed up with Scottish Gas as part of a bid to boost housing in the private rental sector. An engineer from Scottish Gas, Paul Dailly, advised that all tenants should carry out certain checks in order to safeguard their health.

“There are vital checks people can do to keep themselves and their families safe," he told the same publication. "Looking for signs of staining, sooting or discolouration on, or around, your gas boiler, fire or water heater; keeping vents in doors, walls or windows clear; making sure your chimney isn’t blocked and checking pilot lights and other gas flames to ensure they burn blue are all simple tests that can be done to help protect your home and everyone in it."