Gas Safe Register has been working with ITV on a storyline that will see Coronation Street’s popular character Fiz Brown face the silent killer, carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.
The storyline, due to broadcast later on this year, will highlight to Corrie’s eight million viewers how illegal and unqualified gas work is dangerous and can lead to CO poisoning.
Fiz, played by Jennie McAlpine, will collapse at home after Tyrone Dobbs, played by Alan Halsall, fixes her boiler despite not being registered to do so.
The Register has been working with Coronation Street to ensure that the dangers of gas, in particular the symptoms of CO poisoning, are portrayed properly to the public.
News of the storyline and Gas Safe Register’s involvement has already hit the headlines, with The Sunday People, the Metro and The Daily Mirror all featuring gas safety messages from the Register’s chief executive Paul Johnston.
Paul said: “As part of our role is to raise public awareness of gas safety, we have been working with Coronation Street and various other TV programmes and soaps to get gas safety messages out to as many people as possible.
“When we worked with the BBC on EastEnders last year, we received huge support from engineers and other industry members for portraying the real life dangers of illegal gas work, so it’s great to work with another popular soap in bringing gas safety to the forefront of people’s minds.
“In a recent survey carried out to mark Gas Safety Week, we found that there is widespread confusion among the public about the symptoms of CO poisoning. Over half of people think memory loss and a funny taste in the mouth are main symptoms of CO poisoning1. With around 4,000 people a year going to hospital with CO symptoms2, we are pleased that Coronation Street is helping to raise awareness of CO among millions of people.”
Paul added: “Recognising the six symptoms of CO poisoning could save lives. These are headaches, dizziness, nausea, breathlessness, collapse and loss of consciousness. The storyline will also highlight how important it is for the public to only use a Gas Safe registered engineer.”
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1 Gas Safe Register interviewed 1163 people across Great Britain during August 2012.
2 Department of Health public health figures – 50 accidental deaths in England due to CO poisoning. Average of 4,000 hospital presentations per year.