Published: 12:54, 29 November 2020
| Updated: 12:55, 29 November 2020
An urgent safety warning has been issued over a number of gas cookers sold across Kent and the UK.
Public Protection Kent (PPK) has said that owners of Beko, Leisure or Flavel cookers should be aware of potentially deadly carbon monoxide dangers found with certain models.
The cookers, which passed safety regulations when first sold, are capable of producing fatal levels of carbon monoxide within minutes if owners use the grill with the door shut.
An inquest last week heard that five people in Cornwall died after inadvertently turning on their grills.
The cookers had also been linked to 13 other deaths in the UK and Ireland, the inquest was told.
Victims were reportedly quickly overwhelmed, to the point where some were found still sitting in their chairs.
There are fears that despite more than half of the models being recalled, there are more than 1,000 potentially dangerous cookers still in use.
The PPK statement warning: "Beko, Leisure and Flavel gas cookers have been linked to 18 deaths due to carbon monoxide poisoning.
"If you have one of these cookers, make sure you follow the instruction manual and do not operate the grill with the grill door closed – as it can restrict air supply and cause extremely dangerous levels of carbon monoxide poisoning.
"Beko has achieved over 58% product recalls, however there could be over 1,000 cookers still in people's homes."
The affected models were all issued before January 2009, according to a Beko statement.
It reads: "It has come to our attention that particular Beko, Leisure and Flavel cookers with a separate oven and grill can, if they are not operated in accordance with the user instructions, pose a serious risk to your health.
"If you have one of these cookers, you must follow the product instruction manual and do not operate the grill with the grill door closed.
"You should also arrange for a free health and safety inspection."