If a gas appliance is leaking it will emit carbon monoxide – a highly poisonous gas. This can lead to serious and long-term health problems, or even death. Every year, thousands of people are admitted to hospital with suspected CO poisoning.
It is useful to know the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, so that you can act quickly if any are observed within your home. These include headaches and dizziness, breathlessness, nausea or a collapse and loss of consciousness. The difficulty is that these symptoms are often confused with viral infections, flu, food poisoning or even just fatigue.
Bear in mind that there are other ways to assess whether the symptoms are down to carbon monoxide poisoning. For example, if they only happen at home and disappear when you leave the house, then there may be a CO connection. Similarly, if the symptoms appear throughout the household and include any pets, then you should take immediate preventative action.
If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning
Open the windows immediately, turn off any appliances and leave the house. Immediately see your doctor or go to the hospital, letting them know of your concern. They can do a breath or blood test to establish whether carbon monoxide poisoning is the problem. If you think that there is an immediate danger, also be sure to call the National Gas Emergency Helpline on 0800 111 999.
The best ways to avoid the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning are to ensure that your appliances are installed and annually serviced by a gas safe registered engineer, and by installing a carbon monoxide detector in your home, which can be bought for around £15 from DIY stores. Contact Home Appliance Care to organise your fixed price gas installations, repair and gas safety checks.