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Carbon Monoxide: From Awareness to Action

The APPCOG's January 2015 report, entitled ‘Carbon Monoxide: From Awareness to Action’, warns that approaches towards promoting carbon monoxide safety that rely too heavily on general public awareness-raising may on their own prove ‘insufficient’ to ensure individuals and families are adequately protected from the dangers posed by the colourless, odourless gas.
 
While recognising awareness-raising as a vital first step in the protection process, the report calls on all stakeholders involved – including government and energy, fuel and leisure industries – to go further and adopt key behavioural science techniques that have proven effective in other areas of public policy, not least in reducing domestic energy use or improving public health.
 
The report argues that by better understanding how people interact with the variety of environments in which carbon monoxide poisonings occur, the different fuel-burning appliances and gas detection systems present, and the manner in which people receive and interpret messages containing important safety warnings, government and industry can better influence behaviour and radically improve the efficacy of carbon monoxide safety initiatives.