A court was recently told about the death of an elderly woman due to cavity wall insulation blocking her chimney and resulting in her suffering from the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning.
After receiving a cold call from a cavity wall insulation company, she agreed for the insulation to be fitted in her home for free. Things took a dramatic turn for the worst when she was discovered collapsed on her bed. She had died from inhaling toxic fumes that had flooded her bedroom.
So how can something that seems like a simple process such as cavity wall insulation, lead to a tragic death of a person? According to the Manchester Evening news, it started with a string of events beginning with workmen drilling and injecting the walls with insulation beads made from polystyrene.
It was reported that although everything appeared to be safe, the lead technician noticed that beads had spilled out of the wall and landed around the boiler which was placed in the garage. Work was then halted and a smoke test revealed that the flue of the boiler had in fact became blocked.
It was alleged that the company installing the cavity wall insulation would have to return in the morning, resulting in the company being accused of failing to follow correct safety procedures despite the flue being blocked.
The cavity wall installation company apparently informed the elderly lady’s son not to turn on the heating but failed to follow industry safety guidelines. This states that a heating engineer should have been called out to turn off the gas supply and that warnings should have been place on the boiler.
After being investigated by the health and safety executive, they stated that there was ‘a complete lack of guidance’ on the matter.
Unfortunately later that evening when the temperatures dropped, the heating was turned on. The elderly lady’s son to wake up a few hours later ‘feeling dizzy’. Checking on his mother he found her to be slumped on the bed unconscious. Unfortunately the lady died of carbon monoxide poisoning.
You can read the full story on the Manchester Evening News Website.