Carbon monoxide poisoning can kill. Although you cannot see, taste or smell the gas, symptons of carbon monoxide poisoning include:
Should you experience any of these symptons get some fresh air immediately. Open doors and windows and leave the building. You should seek medical attention immediately and explain your symptons may be related to carbon monoxide poisoning.
If you suspect there is a carbon monoxide leak in your building, call the National Gas Emergency Service on 0800 111 999.
If you think someone's life may be in immediate danger, call us on 999.
Carbon monoxide can come from a variety of different places in your home including candles, gas fires, boilers, gas or wood burners, water heaters, and ovens.
You can prevent carbon monoxide poisoning by taking a few simple steps.
Incorrectly fitted, badly repaired or poorly maintained gas appliances are one of the main causes of carbon monoxide poisoning in the home.
We recommend getting gas appliances checked annually by a Gas Safe registered engineer. Landlords must complete a gas safety inspection every year on each of their properties
Although many people associate carbon monoxide poisoning with gas appliances, the highly poisonous substance is also produced when fuel is burnt, such as on an open fire.
Ensure your chimney and airbricks are not blocked otherwise carbon monoxide can seep into your home instead of being expelled. This can also cause carbon monoxide to seep into your neighbours property.
Common causes of blockages include debris from repairs or renovations, birds nests, leaves or excess soot.
Always have your chimney swept by a specialist at least one a year, if burning coal, and twice a year if burning logs.
If you live in a property that has gas appliances such as cookers, heaters and gas fires or solid fuel-burning appliances, such as a wood burner or coal fire, you should install a carbon monoxide alarm.
Carbon monoxide alarms should be placed in the rooms where the fuel-burning appliance is e.g. the kitchen or lounge.
These alarms are different to smoke alarms. A standard smoke alarm will not detect carbon monoxide, however, you can buy dual smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
When buying a carbon monoxide alarm ensure it meets current British or European safety standards and carries the appropriate safety mark - EN 50291 and CE - on the product and packaging.
Landlords of private rented accommodation must legally install one carbon monoxide alarm in each room that contains a gas or solid fuel-burning appliance.
Once lit, never take a purpose-built or disposable barbecue into a confined space such as a garage, tent, caravan, vehicle or building.
Barbecues continue to give off carbon monoxide until completely cooled. Always leave them to to go cold, swilling with water if possible, before deposing of them appropriately.