What to know about carbon monoxide

Do you know the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning? In the UK, 50 people die a year from the silent killer with thousands more visiting their doctor with symptoms including dizziness, shortness of breath and muscle spasms.

But how do you know if you have a problem with carbon monoxide gas in the home? And what measures can you take to keep your home safe?

Spotting the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning

Have you experienced a splitting headache that clears once you’re away from home? Are other people in your house or office experiencing the same symptoms, or do you only get them during the winter when the heating is in use? If your pets have also become ill and you’re noticing sooty marks around your boiler and fireplace, you may have a problem with carbon monoxide poisoning.

Image Credit

The early and most common symptoms include dizziness, being sick, stomach pain, confusion and tiredness and shortness of breath. These symptoms can sometimes be confused with ‘flu or food poisoning, but there’s no temperature. Prolonged exposure can result in vertigo, a loss of physical coordination, blackouts and even death.

What are the causes of a carbon monoxide leak?

The most common causes of carbon monoxide leaks in the home are poorly fitted and badly maintained appliances like boilers, cookers, open fires and central heating systems. If your flue or chimney becomes blocked and the fumes have no way of escaping you may have a problem with carbon monoxide in the home.

That’s why it makes sense to have your central heating system, including your boiler and any flat panel or column radiators, maintained regularly. If you want to switch to easy to maintain and leak free column style radiators, ask your heating engineer how much do column radiators cost and heat your home with complete peace of mind.

How to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning

So how can you prevent this odourless, invisible and silent killer from entering you home? Firstly, install a carbon monoxide alarm to alert you to any problems. Have chimneys swept regularly and make sure all your appliances and central heating system is maintained and serviced by a Gas Safe engineer.

Make sure all rooms are well ventilated, and if you do suspect a leak, open all doors and windows – it might save your life.