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A recent inquest in Brisbane into the death of two boys aged 8 and 6 who died in their sleep in a rental home has raised serious implications for landlords with gas heaters in their properties.
In this instance, the boys died from carbon monoxide poisoning and experts who tested levels for the gas found that levels rose sharply whenever an exhaust fan was on.
Carbon monoxide has been described as “the silent killer” and the mother of the children who died is now fronting a Carbon Monoxide Awareness Campaign.
Ted Piteo, CEO of The Professionals group, highlighted this tragic story as a potential lesson for South Australian landlords because, even despite three reports from the property manager, the landlord in this instance did not act on having the gas heater serviced.
“The landlord received three letters from the property manager drawing his attention to the heater but he told the Inquest he dismissed the letters as ‘generic’ and so didn’t act upon them,” Mr Piteo said.
Lawyers at the inquest suggested to the Landlord that his decision not to organise servicing of the gas heater was due to the cost of the service. This was denied.
Mr Piteo said The Professionals Property Management team advised all Landlords to make gas heater inspections part of their annual safety maintenance program.