Gas Safety – Protect your family from Carbon Monoxide

Gas Safety – Protect your family from Carbon Monoxide

Known as the ‘silent killer’, carbon monoxide cannot be seen, smelt or tasted. As something which is almost totally undetectable, it is important to take precautions in order to protect your family and home.

How do I protect my home?

  • Install an audible carbon monoxide alarm

Ensure that alarm instructions are followed and make sure to place in rooms with fuel burning appliances. Make sure to the alarm regularly with the test button.

Alarms are available to buy from most DIY stores and some supermarkets for approximately £15.

  • Adequate ventilation

It is extremely dangerous to block ventilation to fires, older boilers and stoves. A consistent supply of air is essential to help prevent incomplete combustion. It is also important to make sure there are no blockages in your chimney or flue as blockages can cause carbon monoxide to come into the house.

  • Service Appliances

For protection against carbon monoxide in the home, you need to have all fuel-burning appliances serviced annually by a qualified and registered engineer.

All gas appliances should be serviced annually by a Gas Safe registered engineer and all solid fuel appliances need to be serviced by a HETAS engineer.

What should I look out for?

The main symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Breathlessness
  • Collapse
  • Loss of consciousness

The symptoms of poisoning can be very similar to those of flu. Other signs you should look out for include symptoms which are only apparent when you are at home and other household members experiencing similar symptoms.

If you experience any of these symptoms, seek immediate medical advice from your Dr, call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47 (or if it is urgent, call 999 for an ambulance).

Danger signs to look out for in the home include:

  • Yellow/brown staining on or around your appliance
  • Excessive condensation in the room where the appliance is installed
  • Lazy yellow/orange coloured gas flame rather than a sharp blue one
  • Pilot lights that frequently blow out


Who to call in an emergency

  • Gas Emergency Service – 0800 111 999
  • Oil (OFTEC) – 0845 658 5080


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