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Carbon Monoxide

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

You can’t see, taste or smell carbon monoxide, but it can be deadly.

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a highly poisonous gas, it can cause death as well as serious long term health problems such as brain damage.

The Gas Safety Register defines CO as:

‘..produced by the incomplete burning of natural gas or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). This happens when a gas appliance has been incorrectly fitted, badly repaired or poorly maintained. It can also occur if flues, chimneys or vents are blocked.’

‘Oil and solid fuels such as coal, wood, petrol and oil can also produce carbon monoxide.’

‘CO poisoning occurs when you breathe in the gas and it replaces oxygen in your bloodstream. Without oxygen, your body tissue and cells die. Even small amounts of the gas can cause CO poisoning, and long term effects can include paralysis and brain damage.is produced by.’

The symptoms to look out for

  1. headaches
  2. dizziness
  3. nausea
  4. breathlessness
  5. collapse
  6. loss of consciousness

CO symptoms are similar to those of flu, food poisoning, viral infections and fatigue. That’s why it’s quite common for people to mistake this very dangerous poisoning for something else.

Other signs that could point to CO poisoning:

  1. Your symptoms only occur when you are at home and seem to disappear when you leave home.
  2. Others in your household (including pets) are experiencing similar symptoms and they appear at a similar time.

I think I may have CO poisoning, what do I do?

  • Get fresh air immediately. Open doors and windows, turn off gas appliances and leave the house.
  • See your doctor immediately or go to hospital – let them know that you suspect CO poisoning. They can do a blood or breath test to check.
  • If you think there is an immediate danger, call the Gas Emergency Helpline on 0800 111 999.
  • Ask a Gas Safe registered engineer to inspect your gas appliances and flues to see if there is a dangerous problem. You can do this by contacting Halton Housing’s Gas Team

Talk to Us?

Carbon Monoxide Alarms

If you are worried about Carbon Monoxide Poisoning as you have a number of gas appliances in your home, we would recommend you get a Carbon Monoxide alarm. Modern CO alarms are designed in a similar fashion to smoke alarms and can be purchased from retailers and DIY stores. It’s advisable to get an alarm which uses sound to alert you of any danger, as this is typically the most effective form of CO alarm.

To find out more about Carbon Monoxide poisoning and for more useful tips on how to spot the signs and symptoms, visit The Gas Safety Register’s website. 

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