What is carbon monoxide poisoning
Carbon monoxide is a gas that has no colour, taste or smell yet it can kill you. The gas is produced by burning material containing carbon.
Sadly it is the very common cause of fatal poisoning in the UK. It has been estimated that it can cause accidental deaths of over 50 people a year and around 200 non-fatal poisonings each year. Do not become a victim
How to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning
Make sure your appliances are working correctly.
Check your chimney and flues are not blocked as if they are blocked this can hinder carbon monoxide escaping.
All Gas appliances should be fitted by a Gas Safe for further details contact your local gas board.
Non-gas appliances that use oil, wood or coal should be fitted and checked by an OFTEC or HETAS approved engineer.
It is recommended to get your appliances checked every year.
I would be able to smell it
No you would not – Carbon monoxide is a gas which has no smell, odour or even taste. Yet it is extremely dangerous to your health and can be fatal.
Symptoms to look out for include:
- Out of breath
- Feeling dizzy
- Feeling sick
- Chest Pains
- Stomach ache
- Visual problems
- Generally feeling unwell
Of course these symptoms can be the result of another underlying issue so if in doubt always contact your Doctor.
Also note if your symptoms ‘disappear’ when you are out of the home. This could be clear indication the problem is coming from one of the appliances.
Carbon monoxide detectors
Fitting a detector that will let you know straight away if there’s a carbon monoxide leak in your home is a good extra precaution, but it shouldn’t be done in place of having your appliance(s) fitted and checked by an approved engineer.
How to choose the right one
When choosing a doctor make sure you seek out the following
One with a very loud alarm that will wake you up from a deep sleep
British Standard EN 50291 mark also written as BSEN 50291 or shown with the CE mark, or British or European Kite mark and a testing approval mark like the Loss Prevention Certification Board (LPCB) mark.
Where can I purchase one?
Ask your local gas board – I purchased one from British Gas and it was delivered in a few days. A while ago it went off and I called the Gas Board out. Thankfully it was a waste of time but they were pleased I called them. They even checked with the neighbours to see if the problem was coming from their flat which was not the case
You can also buy one from your local DIY store.
If you only do one thing this week make sure you purchase one.
If you have a gift to buy for a house warming or wedding present for someone why not purchase one as this will show you care.