Carbon monoxide poisoning is entirely avoidable. Learn how to prevent CO poisoning and identify its symptoms by reading this article
When the mercury drops and your heating systems crank up, you need to be careful about CO poisoning.
Accidental consumption of lethal levels of CO is an ongoing threat. You can take steps to minimize this risk in your home, but make sure to consult a professional before actually implementing any changes to avoid dangerous mistakes.
Carboxyhemoglobin (CO) can build up in enclosed or partially covered spaces. CO can be found in sources such as furnaces, kerosene heaters, cars that have been idle in the garage for a while, stoves, lanterns and gas ranges, as well as portable generators and charcoal burning. People and animals in these spaces can be poisoned and die from breathing CO.
How to Recognize CO Poisoning
CO poisoning has many different symptoms – headaches, dizzy spells, nausea & vomiting. People who are asleep or have been drinking alcohol can also die from CO poisoning without feeling any symptoms at all.
CO poisoning is entirely avoidable. Protect yourself and your family from CO poisoning by knowing the symptoms and learning how to prevent it.
Protect yourself in your home
Leaking boilers, cooker repairs, heating malfunctions, and defective appliances should be serviced by a registered professional.
Make sure there’s a good amount of ventilation in any room you’re in. If it’s double-glazed or draught-proof, your heater should be fine with some circulating air.
Fit an extractor fan if you haven’t already.
When was the last time your boiler was serviced. Boiler servicing not only ensures your boiler and central heating is working efficiency to save you money, but also ensure the boiler is not hazardous to your families health with your gas appliances leaking carbon monoxide throughout your home.
Preventing a carbon monoxide leak
Prevention is the best way to protect against the dangers of carbon monoxide. You should have your gas appliances regularly tested and have your boiler serviced by a Gas Safe registered engineer at least once a year.
Always use a Gas Safe Engineer
For someone to carry out work on home gas installations and appliances, they must be registered on the Gas Safe Register. Ensure that the gas engineer working in your home is fully gas safe registered
Install a carbon monoxide alarm
Installing an audible CO alarm early-warning system in your home can provide you with enough time to get out, should there be a carbon monoxide leak. You can buy one from DIY or hardware stores.
CO alarms give a loud sound when CO gas is detected. However, a CO alarm is not a substitute for taking care of your appliances.
When buying a CO alarm, make sure it’s approved to include reliable and up-to-date features such as the British or European Standard (BS Kitemark or EN50291).