Carbon monoxide kills around 60 people in the UK every year and over 4000 more visit an A&E department with suspected symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. Each year you should have your chimney and flues swept to ensure that they are not blocked with bird nests, climbing plants or a build-up of soot. You should also have all your appliances checked and serviced annually by an approved engineer.
A list of approved engineers can be found on the relevant bodies website:
The best way to keep yourself and your family safe from the devastating effects of carbon monoxide posioning is to reduce the risk of CO being produced. These simple steps can help to reduce the chances of carbon monoxide build-up and make sure that you are alerted to the pressence of this deadly gas.
Make sure that your appliances are well maintained and serviced regularly by an approved engineer.
A build up of soot and debris in your chimney can produce dangerously high levels of carbon monoxide.
A gas safety check will help to ensure that your appliances are installed correctly and are safe for use and working correctly.
Making your neighbours aware about the dangers of carbon monoxide will help to keep your community safe.
An audible CO detector is the only certified way to detect carbon monoxide and keep yourself and your familly safe.
You should test your CO detector regularly to make sure it is working properly. Sign-up for our FREE reminder service.
The batteries in your CO detector should be replaced in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations.
Help us spread the word about the dangers of Carbon Monoxide poisoning and help protect those closest to you.
When camping be aware that carbon monoxide can be produced from protable stoves, camp fires, barbeques and nearby vehicles. Always make sure you follow these simple rules when camping.
Boats and caravans are often exposed to external sources of carbon monoxide such as other nearby vehicles and boats, portable generators, protable stoves and barbeques. It is important to make sure that boats and caravans are well ventilated and that you follow these simple rules.
Make sure that you don't let your guard down when you are staying away from home or on holiday. It is important to remember that carbon monoxide can be anywhere at anytime and that additional and unexpected risks may be around you while you are away from home.
Hotels and B&B's often use fossil fuel burning appliances such as boilers and fires for heating and hot water. Although these appliances are not usually located in the actual hotel rooms it is important to remember that carbon monoxide can seep through walls. Always be aware of your surroundings and take a portable and audible CO detector on holiday with you.
Many people work in environments where they are exposed to potential sources of carbon monoxide daily. While these are usually all extremely low risk areas be aware that carbon monoxide could be produced from:
(doc:543 V1.0). Our articles are reviewed regularly. However, any changes made to standards or legislation following the review date will not have been considered. Please note that we provide abridged, easy-to-understand guidance. To make detailed decisions about your fire safety provisions, you might require further advice or need to consult the full standards and legislation.
Many people are unaware of the devastating effects of carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon Monoxide has no colour, smell or taste and cannot be detected by the human senses. It is extremely dangerous, binding itself to the haemoglobin in red blood cells and preventing them from transporting oxygen around the body.
According to statistics released by the Office for National Statistics, throughout England and Wales, there are an average of over 60 deaths every year due to accidental exposure to carbon monoxide - up to 45% of which occur in the home.
Figures from the Department of Health and Social Care show that there are around 4000 cases of carbon monoxide poisoning treated in A&E Departments across England each year - even mild cases can exacerbate existing conditions such as respiratory illnesses, leading to fatalities.
According to the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for England, around 200 per year are hospitalised in England and Wales as a result of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning.
A study of more than 27,000 properties by the Liverpool John Moores University, supported by the Merseyside and West Midlands Fire Services, found that less than 10% of homes have a single carbon monoxide alarm to protect occupants from this deadly gas.
Source: Liverpool John Moores University