Carbon monoxide fumes are silent, highly poisonous fumes that are produced by the incomplete burning of fossil fuels.
This can happen when gas appliances such as cookers, heaters, gas fires and solid fuel burners have been incorrectly fitted, or poorly maintained. It can also occur if flues, chimneys or vents have faults.
You can't taste, see or smell CO fumes, but it can kill in minutes. It's vital to know the symptoms of poisoning – if you don't have an alarm, it may be your only warning.
CO poisoning symptoms:
These symptoms also apply to your pets – so keep an eye on them too. It's also really important to spend a few pounds on a carbon monoxide alarm. Poisoning symptoms can easily be confused with just feeling unwell, which is why CO poisoning is so dangerous, and so often missed.
Did you know?
Carbon monoxide can leak in through the fabric of your home from somewhere else in your block, house or terrace? Get – and use – a CO alarm to be safe.
Exposure to carbon monoxide can cause longer term problems – find out more on NHS Direct. You can learn more about CO poisoning on the Health and Safety Executive website. If you believe there is danger from gas contact the Gas Emergency Helpline on 0800 111 999.
In a word, yes. It's really important to fit a carbon monoxide alarm in all rooms containing solid fuel gas, or paraffin heaters. It's also a good idea to familiarise yourself with the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning, and learn what to do if you suspect someone may be affected.
We also recommend taking a portable alarm with you on holiday – it's a small thing to pack, but could save you and your loved ones' lives.
We can visit you at home to provide advice on all aspects of home fire safety – and will even fit free smoke alarms if you need them.