We have had a pretty good summer, with temperatures rarely dropping below 10oc. However, with winter creeping up on us, it will soon become very important to have a well-insulated and tightly sealed home to fight the cold. Boilers, and central heating systems alike, will be switched on and the wood burning fires lit. However, with all of this comes a danger in the form of Carbon Monoxide.
Many homes across the UK have old boilers that are not only inefficient and are wasting money and energy, but are also emitting harmful gasses that can cause a build up of Carbon Monoxide (CO) in a worryingly and dangerously short period of time.
There are, on average, around 40 deaths per year through Carbon Monoxide poisoning with a further 4,000 admitted to A&E.
So what can you do to ensure you are safe?
Check your boiler regularly by a gas safe engineer. Many boilers over time start to emit more and more harmful gasses and getting them checked at least every year will ensure that you know if its beginning to get dangerous.
Change your boiler. New condensing boilers don’t just save you huge amounts of money by being more efficient, but they also produce a lot less harmful emissions. This means that the risk of Carbon Monoxide poisoning is much lower.
However, frequently, cases of death come as a complete surprise with no prior warnings due to Carbon Monoxide being odourless and Colourless.Buy a Carbon Monoxide Alarm/Detector. To make absolutely sure that you are living in a good, clean domestic atmosphere you should have at least 1 Carbon Monoxide Alarm (we advise on installing 1 per level). They signal a warning when CO levels are reaching dangerous levels, which allows you to then evacuate the building or open a window depending on the level of danger. Carbon Monoxide Alarms/Detectors should never replace a regular boiler servicing, but should be used in conjunction with it in order to ensure the highest safety.
What to do if you think you are being affected by carbon monoxide?
Early stages of Carbon Monoxide poisoning can include:
- Dull headache
- Shortness of breath
- Blurred vision
- Loss of consciousness
However, frequently, cases of death come as a complete surprise with no prior warnings due to carbon monoxide being odourless and colourless.
If you think your boiler is producing carbon monoxide, or if you experience any of the symptoms listed above, open all your windows to maximise ventilation and leave the property as soon as possible. You should seek medical help and make sure that your home is safe with a gas safety check before returning.
The best way to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning is to make sure your home is safe in the first place – get regular gas safety checks each year and install alarms.