Carbon monoxide build up caused by possible heater fault and ventilation failure

Energy type: 
LPG
 
Event summary: 
The Fire Service advised they had been called to a property by the Police. The Police had been called to the property because of a sudden death. The Police on entering the property had been affected by "gas smells" and had called the Fire Service. The Fire Service entered the property using breathing equipment and turned off a cabinet heater which was operating. The elderly occupant of the bedsitter flat was deceased.
 
Accident ID: 
150723-02
 
Accident date: 
23 July 2015
 
Site: 
Domestic
 
Environment: 
Building
 
Voltage: 
1
 
Equipment: 
Space heater/cabinet heater
 
Accident type: 
Electrical shock
 
Casualty: 
Fatality
 
Injury: 
Asphyxiation
 
Property damage level: 
No property damage
 
Outcome of investigation: 

The cause of death is subject to the Coroner’s findings. It is believed the lethal levels of carbon monoxide built up in the flat due to two primary causal factors — a fault in the heater, and the failure to use the heater within ventilation guidelines. The absence of either of these factors may have prevented the accident. Energy Safety was not able to establish the cause of the fault as it appeared to have cleared itself during the testing process.