BestHeating Blog

What is Carbon
Monoxide
?

Colourless

Odourless

Produced by the incomplete
burning of carbon-based fuels

Extremely Deadly Gas

Prevents blood from
supplying oxygen to cells,
tissues and vital organs


can't be seen / can't be smelled / can't be heard / can't be tasted / can't be seen / can't be smelled / can't be heard / can't be tasted

  • Each year in the UK CO poisoning sends 4000 people to A & E
  • 200 people will spend the night in hospital
  • 50 people will die
    Because you can't see it, smell it, hear it or taste it, it's known as the silent killer

    WHAT ARE THE 6 main SYMPTOMS OF
    CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING?
    headaches
    nausea/vomiting
    breathlessness
    dizziness
    erratic behaviour
    general lethargy

    ACUTE symptoms include all of the chronic symptoms and


    Personality change

    Tachycardia (rapid heart rate)

    Angina and hypotension

    Seizures

    Cerebral oedema - swelling
    of the brain


    Other signs to look out for

    Symptoms that only come when you are at home

    You start to feel better when you leave the house

    WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING?

    • OPEN FIRES

    • COOKERS

    • BOILERS

    • OPEN FIRES

    • COOKERS

    • BOILERS

    • OPEN FIRES

    • COOKERS

    • BOILERS

    You are also at risk from
    • OPEN FIRES

    • COOKERS

    • BOILERS

    Burning fuel in unventilated
    spaces

    Blocked flues and chimneys

    smoking shisha pipes indoors

    Barbeques



    REMEMBER!

    The risks are higher when you are using portable stoves or barbeques in caravans, tents, boats or motorhomes.

    WHO IS AT RISK FROM
    CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING?

    Any person or animal in your house is at risk of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning,
    but some are more vulnerable than others

    • People with
      chronic heart
      and respiratory
      problems
    • THE VERY OLD
      AND THE VERY
      YOUNG

    Students are particularly at risk from Carbon Monoxide poisoning. For many, it is the first time they have lived away from home and been responsible for their own housing, so it’s important that they understand the risks. If you’re a student in rented accommodation, ask your landlord for an up-to-date Gas Safety certificate and demand that they make sure all fuel-burning appliances are safety checked at least once a year by a REGISTERED engineer.


    Carbon Monoxide and Pets

    Animals are also affected by carbon monoxide and can help you identify
    potential dangers

    cats will refuse to come into the house dogs may have a sore mouth or throat and appear irritable


    • The phrase "canary in a coal mine" came about because miners used to take birds into the mines to act as a warning signal for poisonous gases like carbon monoxide.
    • Your body doesn't know the difference between Oxygen and Carbon Monoxide, so when you breathe in your lungs don't know that there is anything wrong.
    • Just sitting in your car with the windows closed and the engine running could expose you to CO Poisoning, so don't do it!

      CARBON MONOXIDE AND THE GREAT OUTDOORS


      CARBON MONOXIDE IS PRESENT WHENEVER FUEL IS BURNT WITHOUT ENOUGH OXYGEN
      AND COOKING IN UNVENTILATED AREAS SUCH AS TENTS CAN BE FATAL.
      TO AVOID ACCIDENTS, FOLLOW THESE RULES

      Never cook inside a tent or an enclosed camping space
      Never use gas stoves or burners to heat your tent

      All fuel burning items need to have adequate ventilation to prevent the build-up of Carbon Monoxide (If you are suffering from the cold whilst out camping, put on another layer or buy a warmer sleeping bag)

      HOW CAN I SPOT THE DANGERS AND KEEP MY
      FAMILY SAFE?


      Orange or Yellow (instead of
      blue) flames from appliances
      (unless they are flame effect
      fires)

      An increase in condensation
      inside windows

      Yellow or Brown staining or
      soot around appliances

      Pilot lights that frequently
      blow themselves out



      WHAT PRECAUTIONS CAN I TAKE?

      Have your chimney swept at least once
      a year
      by a QUALIFIED chimney sweep

      WHAT SHOULD I DO IN AN EMERGENCY?







      • Switch off the appliance
      • Open all windows and doors
      • Call GAS EMERGENCY on – Freephone 0800 111 999
      • Seek URGENT medical advice
      • Get to your GP or local A & E and ask for a blood or breath test
      • Carbon Monoxide leaves your body quickly so immediate action could save your life
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