Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas that has no smell or taste. Breathing it in can make you unwell, and it can kill if you’re exposed to high levels.
Every year there are around 50 deaths from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning in England and Wales. And up to 4,000 medical visits to hospital a year.
High concentrations of carbon monoxide will kill in less than five minutes.
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 if left untreated. That is why it is so important you have your boiler serviced yearly, as well as your other gas appliances.
Carbon monoxide is produced by the incomplete burning of natural gas or liquefied petroleum gas or known otherwise as LPG. This happens when a gas appliance has been incorrectly fitted, badly repaired or poorly maintained.
In Northampton there are over 1,519 reported unsafe gas appliances as of (29/09/2019), that number is including boilers. Postcodes include NN1, NN2, NN3 and NN4.
In Wellingborough there are over 880 reported unsafe gas appliances as of (29/09/2019), that number is including boilers. Postcodes include NN8, NN9, NN10 and NN29.
It’s not just gas that can produce carbon monoxide, Oil and solid fuels such as coal, wood, petrol and even diesel can also produce carbon monoxide.
Carbon monoxide poisoning occurs when you breathe in the gas and it replaces oxygen in your bloodstream. Without oxygen, your body tissue and cells die. The symptoms are similar to those of flu, food poisoning, viral infections and fatigue.
The symptoms can gradually get worse with prolonged exposure to carbon monoxide, leading to a delay in diagnosis.
Long-term exposure to low levels of carbon monoxide can also lead to neurological symptoms, such as difficulty thinking or concentrating and frequent emotional changes, for example, becoming easily irritated, depressed or making impulsive or irrational decisions.
Breathing in high levels of carbon monoxide gas can cause death within minutes!
If you suspect your gas appliance is letting off carbon monoxide or you’re unsure when the last time the appliance was last checked by a gas engineer, you can trust one of our plumbers from Northampton, Wellingborough or Kettering to investigate the presence of fumes.
If you suspect CO poisoning you should get fresh air immediately,
See your doctor immediately or go to the hospital, tell them that you suspect CO poisoning. They can do a blood or breath test to check.
If you think there is an immediate danger to life, call the Gas Emergency Helpline on 0800 111 999.