Carbon monoxide is known as the silent killer. It is a poisonous gas that has no smell or taste. Carbon monoxide is responsible for up to 60 deaths in England and Wales each year and up to 4,000 medical visits, according to the NHS.
Do you know if carbon monoxide (CO) is present in your home? It isn’t always clear to the naked eye. Therefore, this blog will give you tips on how to prevent a carbon monoxide leak and what to look out for.
The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are not always obvious and can present themselves in many ways, sometimes even leaving you feeling as though you have a hangover or flu. Symptoms when exposed to small amount of the gas may include; Headaches, nausea, dizziness, tiredness, confusion and shortness of breath.
These symptoms may be different if you are exposed to carbon monoxide for an extended period of time or a high level of the gas.
Causes of CO Leaks
Carbon monoxide leaks are often caused when the fuel supplying your home doesn’t burn correctly. This can come from appliances such as boilers, gas fires and cookers, as well as other fuel supplied appliances.
If these appliances aren’t installed or maintained correctly by a qualified professional, this increases the risk of CO leaks and exposure to the gas. Other causes of CO poisoning may be blocked chimneys, poor ventilation and exposure to the gas in confined spaces.
Think You Have a CO Leak?
If you believe there may be a CO leak in your home, make sure the room is well ventilated by opening all windows and doors where possible. Call Cadent, the emergency gas line on 0800111999. It is advised you visit your GP or nearest medical facility as soon as possible to rule out any medical issues.
How to Prevent CO Poisoning
- Ensure all of your gas appliances are serviced regularly by a gas safe registered engineer. If you have a new gas appliance installed, check the credentials of the installer and never attempt to do this yourself.
- Be sure you have a carbon monoxide detector near all gas appliances. Ensure these have the British kite mark to show they have been tested to acceptable standards.
- If you have a gas cooker or hob, ensure that you have an extractor fan or hood fitted above it to extract any harmful gases that may occur.
We hope you will never need these tips, but they are there should you need them.
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