The Silent Killer
Every year about 30 people die from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by gas appliances and flues which have not been properly installed or maintained. Many others also suffer ill health. When gas does not burn properly, as with other fuels such as coal, wood or oil, excess carbon monoxide is produced, which is poisonous.
The Health & Safety Executive has compiled a leaflet on the subject of Carbon Dioxide.
You canít see it. You canít taste it. You canít even smell it. But carbon monoxide can kill without warning in just a matter of hours
You are particularly at risk when you are asleep because you cannot recognise the early symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. These include tiredness, drowsiness, headache, nausea, pains in the chest and stomach pains. These symptoms can mimic many common ailments and may easily be confused with flu or simple tiredness.
If you or your family experience the above symptoms, and you believe carbon monoxide may be involved, you must seek urgent medical advice. Your doctor will need to test a blood or breath sample. Carbon monoxide quickly leaves the blood and tests may be inaccurate if taken more than four hours after exposure has ended.
You are at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning if:
There is a particular risk if you sleep in a room where an appliance, which is not of the room-sealed type (eg a conventional gas fire) is left burning at night. (Flue outlets for room-sealed appliances are commonly located on an external wall at a low level protected by a cage rather than at or above roof level.)
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purposes. First published 10/02. Please acknowledge the source as HSE.
Gas Safe Central Heating Ltd.
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