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Recognising the signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning

Anyone that has a gas boiler or appliance in their home should be vigilant when it comes to gas safety. Carbon monoxide poisoning can be deadly, and it's easy to mistake the signs and symptoms for other ailments like flu, viral infections or food poisoning. So make sure you know what to look out for.

What are the signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning?

The six main symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are:

  • headaches
  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • breathlessness
  • collapse
  • loss of consciousness.

If you're unsure, then other signs to look out for are:

  • whether you experience any of the above symptoms only when you are in your home
  • if symptoms get better when you leave, and come back when you return
  • if your symptoms appear to be seasonal i.e. you only experience headaches in the winter when your central heating is on
  • whether other people in the household are experiencing similar symptoms.

What should you do if you think you could be at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning?

You should immediately seek medical advice from your doctor or nearest hospital emergency room.

What danger signs should you look out for in your fuel-burning appliances?

There are a few tell-tale signs to keep an eye out for which would suggest a potential risk with your gas appliances:

  • excessive condensation in the room where the appliance is fitted - the best place to spot this is on your windows
  • sooting or staining around gas appliances
  • lazy yellow/orange gas flame rather than a crisp, sharp blue one
  • pilot lights that frequently go out.

How can you reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning in the home?

By fitting a carbon monoxide detector in your home, and maintaining it regularly in accrodance with manufacturer instructions, you should receive warning of the presence of carbon monoxide in your home. Carbon monoxide detectors are not expensive, and they could save your life.

You should also ensure your gas appliances are regularly checked by a Gas Safe Registered engineer. And if you are a tenant, you should be aware that by law landlords have a responsibility for your safety which means all gas appliances are checked on an annual basis.

If you have any concerns about the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning caused by gas appliances in your home, then call me on 07814 609522.

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