Carbon Monoxide Dangers

It's never easy to tell when you have carbon Monoxide escaping from your Gas Fire, BBQ, Log burner or bonfire (yes bonfires). 

Carbon monoxide can cause death as well as severe long term health problems like brain damage. CO is produced by the incomplete burning of natural gas or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). This happens when a gas appliance has been incorrectly fitted, badly repaired or poorly maintained. It can also occur if flues, chimneys or vents are blocked.Oil and solid fuels such as coal, wood, petrol and oil can also produce carbon monoxide.CO poisoning occurs when you breathe in the gas and it replaces oxygen in your bloodstream. Without oxygen, your body tissue and cells die. Even small amounts of the gas can cause CO poisoning, and long term effects can include paralysis and brain damage.

BBQ Dangers with Carbon Monoxide

With 52% of Brits planning to barbecue on average five times for family and friends this summer, we're looking to ensure that the public are aware of the symptoms of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.Recent research has found that carbon monoxide dangers are a long way down in the priorities of most people, with 80% not identifying CO poisoning as a potential danger when barbecuing. This compares badly to other highly regarded dangers, such as food poisoning (67%), burns (51%) and drunken accidents (27%). Even worries about damaging the garden and plants were only just behind CO concerns on 19%.CO is known as the 'silent killer' as it can kill quickly and without warning - it has no taste, colour or smell. It is a by-product of gas and charcoal barbecues burning and can pose great risk to health if it builds up in enclosed spaces. Don't ever be tempted to bring a barbecue inside with you, even if it's cooling down - they can give off CO for several hours after cooking. Always leave it outdoors, in a well-ventilated area.

Stay safe this summer by following our barbecue tips:

  • Never use a barbecue inside.
  • Don't take a smoldering or lit barbecue into a tent, caravan or cabin. Even if you've finished cooking, keep it outside.
  • Always ensure you can see your barbecue while lit and don't leave it lit whilst sleeping.
  • Use your barbecue in accordance with the operating instructions. Find out further advice on barbecue safety.
  • Make sure you're aware of the signs of CO poisoning - headaches, nausea, breathless, dizziness, collapse and loss of consciousness.

Being aware of the symptoms could save your life

CO symptoms are similar to those of flu, food poisoning, viral infections 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:

  • Others in your household (including pets) are experiencing similar symptoms and they appear at a similar time. 
  • Your symptoms only occur when you are at home and seem to disappear when you leave home.

What to do if you suspect CO poisoning

  • Get fresh air immediately. Open doors and windows, turn off gas appliances and leave the house.
  • See your doctor immediately or go to hospital - let them know that you suspect CO poisoning. They can do a blood or breath test to check. 
  • If you think there is an immediate danger, call the Gas Emergency Helpline on 0800 111 999.
  • Call us on 07811 843 606 to inspect your gas appliances and flues to see if there is a dangerous problem.

The warning signs of a CO leak

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

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

Faulty appliances in your home can lead to CO poisoning. Get your gas appliances checked regularly to avoid this.

Invest in a CO Alarm

It’s advisable to fit an alarm in every room with a gas appliance – when installing and siting the alarm make sure you refer to the manufacturer’s instructions. Typically, audible CO alarms have a battery life of up to 5 years. If you’re unsure which alarm to get, you can ask a Gas Safe registered engineer for advice.

You don’t have to be an existing customer of ours.  Our expert heating engineers will inspect your boiler, giving you a price to repair it, then fixing it if you’re happy. No matter how big or small the job is. Contact Worcester Boilers today for all your new Boiler Installations in Surrey and Emergency Boiler Repairs.

Take a look at a boiler we installed recently below and don't hesitate to give us a call.

CALL US ON 07811 843 606020 8286 6883 or 01983 212 255 TODAY.

Jonathan Samuel, chief executive of Gas Safe Register, said:

“Barbecuing is one of the nation's favourite pastimes but it can also be dangerous and cause CO poisoning if not done correctly. It's important that barbecues are never brought into an enclosed space and that people are aware of CO poisoning symptoms.''


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