Every year about 30 people die from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning caused by gas appliances and flues that have not been properly installed or maintained, while many others suffer ill health.
Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning could be tiredness, drowsiness, headaches, dizziness and chest pains.
When gas does not burn properly, as with other fuels such as coal, wood or oil, excess CO is produced which is poisonous.
You are at risk from CO poisoning if:
- your appliance was poorly installed;
- your appliance is not working properly;
- your appliance has not been checked for safety or maintained regularly;
- there is not enough fresh air in the room;
- your chimney or flue gets blocked up;
- you allow non-Gas Safe registered engineers to install or maintain your appliance(s).
For more information visit the Hereford & Worcester Fire Service website.
Age UK has some useful information about how to keep gas appliances safe and how to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning on their website.
The NHS also has information on carbon monoxide poisoning.
Carbon Monoxide alarms are readily available on the high street or online, and can be sited next to an appliance which may be at risk of leaking carbon monoxide (a gas boiler for example). These alarms will sound if high levels of carbon monoxide are detected.
If you rent your home, your landlord should ensure that any gas appliances are checked by a qualified gas safe engineer, every 12 months. Landlords should also supply a carbon monoxide alarm in any room which uses a solid fuel appliance (a woodburner for example). For more information visit the Gas safety - landlords and letting agents section of the Health and Safety Executive website.
Keep Herefordshire Warm (Herefordshire Council’s Energy Advice service) can offer ‘free’ gas service checks to qualifying vulnerable households. Call 0800 677 1432 for more information.