Carbon Monoxide Poisoning – What it is and what to look out for

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning – What it is and what to look out for

Posted on April 7, 2019

Carbon monoxide gas is a silent killer. It is odorless and otherwise undetectable unless you have an alarm fitted. This article will explain how to recognise if you are being affected by carbon monoxide poisoning and also how to prevent it from happening in the first place.

What is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon monoxide, or CO, is a poisonous substance that is produced as a result of fuels like gas or oil not burning to completion. This can happen in a boiler for example, if there isn’t enough oxygen available for all of the gas in the combustion chamber to be burnt. Carbon monoxide is produced where there is poor ventilation or where appliances aren’t being maintained properly.

boiler checks

How do I know if I am being affected?

Carbon monoxide is responsible for around 50 deaths a year in the UK, and kills very quickly, so it is vital that you spot the warning signs early. Some of the symptoms are also similar to other diseases and conditions but if the symptoms only occur when you are at home or if other family members and pets are also displaying the same symptoms then this is a good indicator that you are dealing with carbon monoxide poisoning, and should see a doctor straight away. The symptoms are:

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

You should also turn off all appliances, open doors and windows and leave the property immediately. Then call out an emergency engineer.

Are there other signs to look out for?

Yes, there are signs around your home to be aware of, which are:

– the pilot light blowing out frequently

– flames being yellow or orange rather than blue

– windows having more condensation than normal

– unusual dark staining on or around appliances

How to prevent it?

Chimneys, flues, and vents should be free from obstruction or degradation. All gas appliances need to be serviced regularly by a Gas Safe registered engineer. Also, you should make sure you have a carbon monoxide alarm fitted as a precaution; these are available from DIY stores.

If you are concerned about your boiler or central heating system and want to get it checked over by a Gas Safe-registered engineer, get in touch with Aura Heating today.

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