Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Although gas appliances are generally very safe, carbon monoxide poisoning can be a consequence of faulty, poorly maintained or badly installed gas boilers and fires.

What is carbon monoxide poisoning?

Carbon monoxide is known as the ‘silent killer’. It has no taste, no smell, and is invisible – most people affected do not realise what’s happening until the damage has been done. Carbon monoxide poisoning can case poor health, and in the worst cases, death.

What are the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning?

The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can be similar to those of a virus or other illness, and it often goes unnoticed by doctors due to the fact that carbon monoxide leaves the body

quickly once the sufferer is removed from the contaminated area. The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are as follows:

• Nausea and vomiting

• Dizziness and lightheadedness

• Tiredness

• Confusion

• Shortness of breath

• Stomach pain

If you’re experiencing the above symptoms without a fever, there’s a high chance you could be suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Are there any other signs to look out for?

If you notice any of the following signs, there is a very good chance that you have a carbon monoxide leak in your home.

• Other people in your home are experiencing similar symptoms

• Your symptoms disappear when you go away from home, and return when you come back

• You suffer from seasonal headaches (for example, in the winter while the central heating is being used more often)

• Your pets become ill

• You notice sooty marks on the walls around your boiler

• Yellow, instead of blue, flames coming from your gas appliances

What are the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning?

Around 10­15% of people who suffer from carbon monoxide poisoning will develop long term complications. Prolonged exposure to carbon monoxide can cause vision loss, memory problems,

difficulty concentrating and hearing loss. Coronary heart disease is another serious complication of long­term carbon monoxide poisoning.

How can I prevent carbon monoxide poisoning?

Preventing carbon monoxide poisoning is easy.

Firstly, make sure you have carbon monoxide alarms installed. These should be installed in strategic places in your home to give them the best chance of picking up a leak. These alarms will sound if the level of carbon monoxide in the air reaches dangerous levels.

Secondly, make sure your boiler is properly maintained. You should arrange an annual gas boiler service and safety check with an RGII registered gas installer.

Gas Services offer gas boiler services at excellent rates, and we can also supply and fit carbon monoxide alarms in your home to ensure that you and your family are protected from carbon monoxide poisoning. Call us today to see how we can help you!