NFRS issues warning regarding old gas cookers following inquest

06/09/2019

‚ÄčNottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service is encouraging the public to check their cooker following the death of a man in Bingham who accidently ignited gas which had escaped from open hobs on his cooker.

HM Assistant Coroner for Nottinghamshire Mr Gordon Clow, found that Mr Ronald Burford 88, of East Grove, Bingham, died from carbon monoxide toxicity after accidentally setting fire to himself at his home on 12 April 2019.

Fire crews from Newark and Bingham were called at 8.15am to the scene, after they were alerted to a smell of gas from Nottinghamshire Police.

Returning a conclusion of accidental death, at the inquest held on Thursday 05 September, Mr Clow said: "Since 2008 it has been a requirement that all gas cookers have a device which stops gas coming out of the cooker if the flame is not lit.

"Mr Burford's cooker did not have that. All four burners on the hob were found to be open, at least to some extent, and it is more likely than not, in my judgement, that something impaired Mr Burford's safe use of the hob and he either did not realise that he had opened all four burners, or he was unable to reliably switch off the burners.

"Gas would have then built up around the cooker when ignited when Mr Burford attempted to light the cooker."

The inquest heard how cookers since 2008 have thermocouple installed as standard which stops gas escaping if there is no flame lit.

Lucie Poxon, Fire Investigation and Arson Reduction Officer at Nottinghamshire said: "If you are worried that yours or a relative's cooker does not have the thermocouple safety feature, I would urge you to get in touch with Cadent who can fit a locking cooker valve, completely free of charge.

"When locked, the valve stops the flow of gas to the cooker or hob and can be turned on by a carer or family member when the gas is needed. This doesn't interfere with other gas devices, such as central heating.

"For more information about locking cooker valves, apply for a free fitting at cadentgas.com/lcv or call 0345 835 1111."

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