Carbon Monoxide (CO) is dubbed the silent killer because it is invisible, tasteless and odourless. In this section you can learn more about this deadly gas and how to keep your family safe when using gas at home.
Carbon Monoxide - The Silent Killer
Invisible, odourless and tasteless - carbon monoxide (CO) is the deadly gas which lives up to its name as the silent killer. Exposure to even relatively low levels of this highly poisonous gas can cause brain damage or death!!! You cannot see, smell or taste it. If left undetected, it is deadly. Symptoms of CO poisoning are similar to those of viral infections which include drowsiness, weakness, headaches, nausea and pains in the chest. If anyone in your house has any of these symptoms when using any fossil fuelled appliance consult a doctor and stop using the appliance until it has been checked by either a qualified heating engineer or a NACS chimney sweep.
Carbon monoxide can be produced where a gas (or other fuel, such as solid fuel or oil) appliance has not been correctly installed or serviced or a flue or chimney has become blocked. Telltale signs to look out for include sooting on the appliance, a yellow or orange lazy flame and excessive condensation in the room where the appliance is installed.
Simple Steps To Carbon Monoxide Safety
To help protect your family from the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning follow these simple steps:
- Ensure all heating appliances are checked annually by a registered heating engineer!
- Be cautious when buying second hand appliances. Do not save on safety.
- Never be tempted to DIY with gas....it is a criminal offence to do so!
- Tell tale danger signs include sooting around the appliance, a yellow or orange lazy flame and excessive condensation in the room where the appliance is installed.
- Switch off the appliance immediately and contact a doctor if you experience symptoms such as drowsiness, headaches, nausea or pains in the chest when using an heating appliance.
- If you live in rented accommodation insist to see your landlord's gas safety certificate which shows the appliances he owns have been checked for safety by a CORGI registered installer. Your landlord is legally obliged to provide you with written proof of these checks on an annual basis.
- To find a CORGI registered gas engineer in your area look under "Gas Installers" or "Central Heating" in Yellow Pages.