Adam Bannister

Editor, IFSEC Global

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Adam Bannister is editor of IFSEC Global. A former managing editor at Dynamis Online Media Group, he has been at the helm of the UK's leading fire and security publication since 2014.
October 8, 2015

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Euralarm Joins Calls for Tougher EU Regulations on Carbon Monoxide Safety in Tourism Accommodation

Euralarm has joined the growing chorus of voices urging the government and holiday industry to do more to protect holidaymakers from the threat of carbon monoxide poisoning.

The issue has been given fresh impetus by publication of a report into the deaths of Bobby and Christi Shepherd, the brother and sister who died on holiday in Corfu with their father and his partner in 2006.

Produced by coroner David Hinchliff the report calls for an EU-wise safety standard to prevent further tragedies. “There is a risk that future deaths will occur unless action is taken,” said Hinchliff in the report.

In May an inquest jury ruled that a faulty boiler was to blame and that travel firm Thomas Cook breached its duty of care. A further 43  holidaymakers have died of carbon monoxide poisoning since seven-year-old Christi and six-year-old Bobby were overcome by fumes in 2006, according to the Labour MP for Wakefield, Mary Creagh.

Euralarm has welcomed the adoption by the European Parliament’s TRAN Committee of a report on New challenges and concepts for the promotion of tourism in Europe. Amendment 184 of the report calls for a consistent approach to fire safety and carbon monoxide safety in tourism accommodation.

Euralarm has also highlighted the need to systematically collect, and consolidate at EU level, data on accommodation safety.

carbon monoxide guidance

The report on the Corfu tragedy, which has been sent to senior government ministers, travel agents group Abta and the Federation of Tour Operators, calls for:

  • Safety checks by qualified health and safety specialists rather than “often inexperienced and overworked” tour reps
  • Publicity campaigns encouraging tourists to take portable carbon monoxide detectors on holiday
  • Brochures to carry “clear and easy-to-understand” warnings about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning

Mary Creagh, the Shepherd family’s MP in Wakefield, said: “I welcome the fact the coroner is pushing the UK government to institute new carbon monoxide standards in the UK and across Europe and is also pushing the holiday industry to better protect travellers. The family’s dearest wish is that this sort of tragedy does not happen to anybody else.”

Euralarm, which represents the European electronic fire and security industry, says its 5,000 members across 17 countries are ready to support and provide expertise to the Commission and the European Standards Organizations (CEN and CENELEC) to develop relevant legislation and necessary standards.

“Not adopting strong measures would jeopardize the development of the European Tourism sector and would constitute a missed opportunity to put an end to what in many cases are preventable deaths, injuries and costly damage to property,” said the body in a press statement.

“The tourism industry is of utmost importance for Europe, contributing substantially to member states’ economies. EU citizens and tourists coming from abroad have a right to expect a high and consistent level of protection in their accommodation when travelling within the European Union. Guaranteeing this level of protection is crucial to remain successful and internationally competitive.”

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5 Comments on "Euralarm Joins Calls for Tougher EU Regulations on Carbon Monoxide Safety in Tourism Accommodation"

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Who when where how did these other 43 people die. Where did this figure come from and are there detail of circumstances dates countries of their deaths


OPGO1 1 of them was in UK of course in 2008 at Great Western Hotel. This is over 9 years and i dont know how many countries or tourists

Adam Bannister

OPGOsecretary Not sure what the breakdown is but you can also find the figure here.

It was actually quoted by a Labour MP so have clarified this in the story. thank you for pointing out! It’s an insanely high number, scary.

Adam Bannister OPGOsecretary Thank you. A lot of MPs like to jump on the CO band wagon. Easy publicity. They sometimes seem to pluck figures out of thin air as well. I am not sure i agree that it is an insanely high number. I would like to know how many tourists die in these countries in 9 years overall from other accidental causes as a comparison. Also is the rate of death from CO any greater than would be expected if these tourists had just stayed at home for their holidays. Depends on the number of tourists per year times… Read more »

i just had a look for this  . If you think this figure is insanely high (over 9 years)  have a read.