It’s vital that you make sure you know the risks and how to prevent CO poisoning.
According to Gas Safe Register, Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning killed over 14 people in the UK in 2008, with more than 200 suffering from health problems as a result of CO exposure.
What are the symptoms?
Carbon monoxide is so dangerous because you can’t see, smell or hear it. Therefore you need to be extra vigilant when looking out for the symptoms of CO poisoning.
CO poisoning can manifest itself with symptoms similar to those of a hangover or the flu. You may experience headaches, nausea, dizziness, breathlessness and in extreme cases you might even collapse or lose consciousness.
If you find the symptoms disappear when you leave the house, then it could be that you’re suffering from CO poisoning.
How can I prevent it?
If you own your property, it’s your responsibility to make sure that all your gas appliances are serviced and checked on an annual basis. It’s essential that you use a Gas Safe Registered engineer, as only registered engineers are legally allowed to install and service gas appliances in your home.
If you’re moving into rented accommodation, it’s the law that your landlord has to produce a gas safety certificate to prove that annual safety checks have been carried out and all gas appliances have been serviced.
It’s also important that you have a carbon monoxide alarm fitted. You can buy these from most DIY stores and they can be fitted to the wall easily, preferably in your bedroom. The alarm will sound when CO levels in the room start to rise above the normal level, at which stage you should contact an engineer immediately and leave the property.
If you’re in the UK and have any problems with gas in your property, you can call the Gas Emergency freephone number 0800 111 999.