The Dangers of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning (And What are the Symptoms?)

The Dangers of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning (And What are the Symptoms?)

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Carbon monoxide is a silent killer

Odourless, invisible and deadly, it is produced by a faulty appliance such as a gas fire, cooker or boiler.

Unsafe gas appliances can produce a highly poisonous gas called carbon monoxide (or CO). It can cause death as well as serious long-term health problems such as brain damage. CO is produced by the incomplete burning of natural gas or liquefied petroleum gas (or LPG). This happens when a gas appliance has been incorrectly fitted or poorly maintained. It is really important to have your boiler (and other Gas appliance) checked on a regular basis, at least once a year.

If inhaled, it can kill within minutes. The early symptoms can be wooziness, nausea and a feeling of disorientation. These clear quickly once the affected person affected is out of the environment, so the diagnosis can be missed.

THS Plumbers & boiler engineers in Northampton can service your boiler or gas appliance just by giving us a call today, be safe. Have your boiler serviced regularly! Accidental exposure kills about 50 people each year in England and Wales. A further 4,000 people are diagnosed with CO poisoning at Accident and Emergency departments.

carbon monoxide can kill

6 Main Symptoms to look out for:

  1. Getting Headaches (& head colds)
  2. Nausea
  3. Breathlessness
  4. You Collapse
  5. Going Dizziness
  6. Loss of consciousness

You can be particularly at risk from CO poisoning when you are asleep, because you may not be aware of early CO symptoms until it is too late. Being aware of the symptoms at an early stage could save your life! The symptoms of CO are similar to those of flu, viral infections, food poisoning 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. The symptoms you get that we talked about above, only occur when you are at home and seem to disappear when you leave home.
  2. Other members of your family in your household (including pets) are experiencing similar symptoms and they appear at a similar time. 

Here are three simple life-saving steps you can take to stay safe.

  1. Ensure gas appliances are installed, maintained and fixed by a Gas Safe registered engineer. THS Gas Safe No. 517522
  2. Get your gas appliances checked annually by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
  3. Install an audible carbon monoxide detector.

What to do if you suspect CO poisoning

See your doctor immediately or go to the hospital, let them know that you suspect CO poisoning. They can do a blood or breath test to check.

Ask THS to inspect your gas appliances and flues to see if there is a dangerous problem.

The warning signs you should look out for

Any of the following could be a sign of CO in your home:

  • A lazy yellow or orange colour on your gas hob, rather than being a crisp blue;
  • Dark staining on/around appliances;
  • Pilot lights that frequently blow out;
  • Increased condensation inside windows.

If you suspect any of these signs, it’s important you call us as soon as possible, we have boiler engineers in Northampton, Wellingborough, Kettering & Corby, We can get to you within 40 minutes***

We at THS strongly recommend the use of audible carbon monoxide (CO) alarms as an important precaution but they must not be regarded as a substitute for proper installation and maintenance of gas appliances by a Gas Safe Registered engineer. Before purchasing a CO alarm, always ensure it complies with British Standard EN 50291 and carries a British or European approval mark, such as a Kitemark. CO alarms should be installed, checked and serviced in line with the manufacturer’s instructions.

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