Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
You can’t see it, smell it or taste it.
Carbon monoxide poisoning is a subject that people know very little about. Not only can it kill you, it can cause permanent Neurological Damage in the longer term. In the short term, it can make you feel ill and inhibit your life potential.
Here’s what to do to protect yourself. Please read all of the 10 steps to the end, it may be that the following five minutes could save your life, or the life of someone else.
1. Check the flame colour of your appliances, if its orange you do have a problem. However, Blue does not necessarily mean its safe. Get your appliances checked annually and get a detector if unsure. You would not drive your car without an MOT. Doing the same for you home is common sense as you spend most of your time there.
2. Check the flue, is it blocked? Do you have creeping plants growing up your walls? Do you have birds nesting in your flue? Completely remove these obstructions from the flue area and fit a guard to stop any birds nesting. Get your flue checked! Is it drawing properly? Was it fitted correctly in the first place?
3. Do you have a horizontal gas grill? They can be particularly hazardous. Is yours working correctly? Older appliances can be problematic, use the electric toaster instead. Get your cooker checked.
4. Is there adequate ventilation? Check your air bricks or trickle vents. Have you had double glazing fitted? If the appliances in your home do not have enough air they will produce carbon monoxide.
5. When were your appliances last checked? Do it every year don’t leave it to chance. Remember the engineer can only check the conditions on the day that he attends, get protection year round, fit a CO detector with a low level alarm.
6. Do you suffer from unexplained illnesses,
• Muscle pains
• Upset stomach
Go to your doctor and get a CohB test, go directly from your house, don’t go elsewhere as the CO in your blood will deplete and may not be picked up.
7. Are you a tenant? Do you have a safety certificate? Does your landlord annually check the appliances in your accommodation? (He must do this by Law). Has the engineer done a thorough check? How long was he in the house for? Has your landlord fitted a CO Detector?
8. Are you a landlord? have you been carrying out statutory checks? Even if you have you may be liable if one of your tenants becomes ill or worse dies. Fit a detector for your own and your tenants piece of mind. As a Landlord, you have to show due diligence. If you are found guilty of neglect you may be fined or even sent to prison. Could you live with the consequences for the rest of your life?
9. We all feel better on holiday. If you feel especially invigorated it may be that you have been removed from the source of the poison. If your health goes into decline on your return it may be that it's not just post holiday blues, you may be suffering the ill effects from being poisoned from carbon monoxide in your home.
10. The most important thing that you can do to protect yourself and your family from the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning is to get a carbon monoxide detector alarm with a low level indicator. If you fit a detector you can at least be sure, having carried out all the about safety checks, that you are protected
See also Fire Safety in the Home