Carbon Monoxide – You can’t see it, taste it or smell it but it can kill quickly and with no warning!
Remember the six main symptoms to look out for:
- Loss of consciousness
Being aware of the symptoms could save your life.
Carbon monoxide symptoms are similar to flu, food poisoning, viral infections and simply tiredness. That’s why it’s quite common for people to mistake this very dangerous poisoning for something else.
Other signs that could point to carbon monoxide poisoning:
Your symptoms only occur when you are at home
Your symptoms disappear or get better when you leave home and come back when you return
Others in your household are experiencing symptoms (including your pets) and they appear at a similar time
If you believe you have been poisoned or suffering any symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning Get fresh air immediately! Open doors and windows, Turn off gas appliances and leave the house. You should preferably seek medical attention at A&E. Inform medical staff you suspect you have been poisoned by CO and give all the information that you possibly can that makes you think this. You should request an immediate blood test – you may have been poisoned but a delayed analysis could show a false negative.
These measures can help to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning:
- All fuel burning appliances and associated flues/chimneys are installed by the appropriate, registered trades people.
- The above are maintained and serviced in accordance with the manufacturers instructions
- No-one modifies or tampers with any appliance, flue or chimney
- Your chimney is swept and inspected regularly
- Ventilation openings are not blocked and are free from obstruction including plant life
- Fit an audible CO alarm, certified to EN 50291
- The CO alarm is tested when your appliances are.
All appliances should be correctly installed and maintained.
Before purchasing a carbon monoxide alarm, make sure it is marked to EN 50291. It should also have the British Standards’ Kitemark or another European approval organisation’s mark on it. Follow the alarm manufacturer’s instructions on siting, testing and replacing the alarm.