Each year more than 200 people are admitted to hospital with suspected carbon monoxide poisoning.
Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning are not always obvious. Poisoning occurs because CO gas replaces oxygen in the blood stream and the body is unable to receive the oxygen it needs. The gas is colourless, odourless and tasteless, making it very difficult for people to detect, so how do you know if you’re in danger of poisoning?
What causes Carbon Monoxide poisoning?
Carbon Monoxide gas is produced when fuels such as gas, oil, coal and wood aren’t burnt fully. When inhaled in large amounts, CO causes poisoning, often leading to death.
The most common symptom of mild poisoning is a tension headache; others include dizziness, tiredness and difficulty breathing. Symptoms of low level CO poisoning are flu-like, but without a fever. Prolonged exposure can lead to neurological issues such as depression and irrational behaviour.
If you believe you are experiencing any of these symptoms seek medical advice immediately.
How do you treat Carbon Monoxide poisoning?
If you have been exposed to a high level of carbon monoxide you will need oxygen therapy. This is where you are given 100% oxygen through a mask, allowing your body to quickly replace the CO with oxygen in your body.
What can you do to protect your home?
Any appliance used to burn fuel can potentially produce CO gas:
- Fires including open and gas
- Central heating systems
- Water heaters
Here our three top tips for preventing CO poisoning in your home:
- Ensure all ventilation systems to the outside are unobstructed
If you cover vents with furniture, or if chimneys are blocked, poisonous gas can not escape
- Install a Carbon Monoxide detector
check that it is working regularly
- Have your boiler serviced regularly
Pilot lights can be a source of Carbon Monoxide and an ill-functioning boiler can easily be a source of poisonous CO gas
Specialists in boiler installations and central heating Bromley based Pro Heating are available to service boilers, design and install bespoke central heating systems. We work with residential homes, landlord and developers to offer an efficient and friendly service. To find out more contact us.
Click here to read more about Carbon Monoxide on the NHS website.