How to protect yourself against carbon monoxide

Boilers & gas appliances should be checked annually by a Gas Safe registered expert

carbon monoxideCarbon monoxide poisoning poses a serious risk in every household and workplace. In England and Wales, around 50 people die and 200 people are hospitalised every year because of exposure to it. Therefore, it has earned the name Silent Killer.

Not only is carbon monoxide odourless, it is also colourless and tasteless; it is silent in every sense of the word. As a result, the only way to detect the presence of this toxic gas is by installing a carbon monoxide alarm in your property or by recognising the warning signs.

Alarming figures show only 38% of homes in the UK have a carbon monoxide alarm. A further 25% admit their appliances have never been checked by a Gas Safe registered professional.

What are the symptoms?

Carbon monoxide prevents oxygen from circulating around your body. The symptoms of early carbon monoxide poisoning are:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dull headaches
  • Weakness
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness as well as blurred vision
  • Shortness of breath
  • Loss of consciousness

If you suspect you are suffering from a number of these symptoms, you should turn off all your gas appliances and also leave your property to seek medical attention. The next step is to book a gas safety check with a Gas Safe registered engineer.

What else can you do?

There are a number of precautions you can take to ensure any potential carbon monoxide leaks to do not develop.

To avoid becoming a victim of the Silent Killer, we recommend the following steps:

  • Install a carbon monoxide alarm. Check that it is working correctly on a regular basis.
  • Regularly check your boiler as well as other gas appliances for black/sooty marks. This indicates that something is wrong.
  • Ensure the flame on gas appliances is NOT weak and yellow/orange.
  • Look for condensation in your home. If you notice more than usual it could be a sign of leaking carbon monoxide.
  • Book a boiler and gas appliance safety check with a Gas Safe accredited engineer.

Use our free online service to receive an immediate quote from a local, accredited engineer.