Video: Gorebridge residents’ fears as CO2 detectors are moved into cupboards

A new twist in the ongoing saga over carbon dioxide levels in a Gorebridge street has seen one anxious couple demand to be rehoused.

Council tenants from five houses in Newbyres Crescent were forced to spend more than two hours standing in the street last Tuesday evening as newly-fitted gas detectors all went off at the same time.

George Jardine & Pamela Dow

George Jardine & Pamela Dow

Bewildered residents have now been told the alarms will be put inside cupboards.

After months of uncertainty, all 60 houses in the Crescent are being fitted with CO2 alarms after dangerous levels of the gas were discovered.

But, after fitting 43 alarms in living rooms, Midlothian Council has decided the “best place” for them is in cupboards.

Is a cupboard the most suitable place to install a gas alarm?

A quick internet search by the Advertiser found that typical installation instructions advised putting detectors where lights and audible alarms could be easily seen and heard.

An engineer at Measurement Systems, which fits carbon dioxide alarms, said: “The alarms pick up particles in the air, so I wouldn’t have thought it would have worked in the cupboard, but I’m no expert.”

George Jardine (43) and Pamela Dow (32) have pleaded to leave the Gorebridge street.

George said he and his partner no longer felt safe in their home: “The council told us to open doors and windows, then to go outside onto the street at about 9.30pm.

“A housing officer came out and said they would be struggling to find us anywhere to go.

“It was pretty scary. We want to leave here, we don’t feel safe. This has been going on for eight months now. Hopefully this gets sorted as soon as possible but I can’t see it. They think the alarms were fitted wrong and will have to all been done again.”

Midlothian Council said: “The cupboards are the best place to store these detectors because carbon dioxide occurs naturally in the air.

“If rooms are unventilated, it can build up if you have a number of adults and pets in one room without that being an immediate risk to health or indicating that the gas is entering the house from outside.”

As previously reported in the Advertiser, dangerous levels of CO2 have been causing problems in Newbyres Crescent for many months. Two homes were evacuated last September after six people were rushed to hospital. More homes have been evacuated in recent weeks.

Full story in this week’s Advertiser, out now.

Do you have expert knowledge of installing CO2 detectors? What would your advice be over where to place them? Leave your comments below or contact us here.