Essential Tips for Avoiding Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

How can you spot the symptoms carbon monoxide poisoning?

Carbon monoxide (CO) is produced when your supply of Liquid Petroleum gas (LPG) fails to ignite properly. Carbon monoxide leakage occurs when gas appliances are badly fitted or not maintained.

Carbon monoxide causes serious long term damage to your health or even death if you are exposed. The safest way to prevent poisoning is by installing a carbon monoxide alarm.

Remember, carbon monoxide is odourless and can go undetected for a long period of time. Many of the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning resemble that of flu, food poisoning or viruses so they can be mistaken for other problems.

You must contact the Gas Emergency Helpline on 0800 111 999 if you notice any of the following symptoms:

  • Breathlessness
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Collapse
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of consciousness

What are the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning?

Carbon monoxide poisoning can be the consequence of breathing in even a small amount of CO. Carbon monoxide, when inhaled, will prevent your blood cells from carrying oxygen through your blood stream and starve your body cells of oxygen resulting in tissue and cell decay.

Long periods of exposure to carbon monoxide poisoning can cause serious harm to your health and even become fatal. Both Brain Damage and Paralysis can be caused by gas leaks which produce carbon monoxide following long periods of breathing it without realising that your appliance is faulty.

By understanding the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, you can keep yourself and members of your household safe from poisoning. Carbon monoxide poisoning often resembles viral infections, food poisoning or even tiredness. You should be aware of the following symptoms to ensure that CO poisoning is not mistaken for an illness.

  • If other people or pets living in your household are feeling ill, dizzy or nauseous, or,
  • If you only notice these symptoms whilst inside your home, or,

  • If you feel better when you leave your home yet the symptoms return when you go back inside,

Then, you must leave the house, seek fresh air and contact the Gas Emergency Helpline on 0800 111 999.

How can I prevent Carbon Monoxide poisoning?

Install a carbon monoxide alarm: The safest way to avoid the ill effects of CO poisioning is by installing an audible alarm. Alarms must be marked to EN 50291 and carry the British Standards’ Kitemark approval or equal European standard marks.

Because carbon monoxide is silent and odourless, you are at most risk from poisoning whilst you sleep. For this reason you should ensure that your alarm is an audible alarm tat will wake you up.

Check your gas flame: Flames on your gas appliances should be blue and crisp. If you find that your flames are orange and lazy, it may not be igniting correctly.

Check your appliances: Inspect your gas appliances for dark staining. Seek a professional to inspect it if you have any doubt.

Inspect your pilot light: If your pilot light fails on a regular basis, you should seek assistance of a Gas Safe engineer.

Look out for condensation: Increased condensation on the inside of your windows may be an indication of carbon monoxide leakage.

Have your home checked by a Gas Safe Engineer:

There is no substitute for having your home inspected on an annual basis by a Gas Safe registered engineer. If you are in any doubt about your gas appliances, you should arrange for a gas safe inspection as soon as possible.

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