Gas the Silent Killer

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What is carbon monoxide?

Carbon monoxide, a by-product of combustion, is known as the silent killer. It is odourless, colourless and undetectable without a carbon monoxide alarm. Carbon monoxide can cause serious illness and even death in serious cases.

Why is gas the silent killer?

Carbon monoxide poisoning can often go undetected for quite some time because carbon monoxide leaves the system once exposure ceases, meaning that once the victim has got to the doctor’s surgery for a test, carbon monoxide levels may have dropped much lower.
The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include:

• Headaches
• Dizziness
• Nausea
• Breathlessness
• Collapse
• Loss of consciousness

If you have any of the above symptoms, and they only tend to occur when you’re at home, you may well be a victim of gas, the silent killer. If you suspect a carbon monoxide leak you should switch off your gas appliances, open all of your doors and windows, and immediately contact an RGII registered gas installer to inspect your appliances. You should also contact a doctor as soon as possible.

How can I prevent carbon monoxide poisoning?

The most important thing you can do to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning is making sure your boiler is properly maintained. Be sure to call Gas Services to arrange your annual gas service if it’s overdue – regular servicing can not only prevent dangerous gas leaks, but it will help you save money. Problems can be detected before they turn into serious faults, and your boiler will run more efficiently in general. Additionally, if you notice any malfunctions or odd noises, give us a call. It’s always best to attend to problems as soon as possible.

If you haven’t already purchased a carbon monoxide alarm, now is the time. A carbon monoxide alarm can detect a leak of gas, the silent killer, before it has a chance to cause any harm. When fitted in the correct place, a carbon monoxide alarm can (and does) save lives. At least 50 people in the UK die every year from carbon monoxide poisoning – making sure you have a functioning alarm will prevent you from joining that statistic.

It’s important to fit the alarm in the correct place to ensure it works properly. A carbon monoxide alarm should be fitted in a central location like a hallway or on the landing. Ideally it should be in the same room as the appliance but at least a metre away, and away from outside doors.
Be sure to choose a carbon monoxide detector with an audible alarm. You are most at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning when you are asleep, as you wouldn’t notice the symptoms before it was too late.

For advice about carbon monoxide alarms, and to arrange your annual service, call us today!