With proper ventilation this gas poses no threat, but when it becomes trapped in a room it can have potentially lethal consequences.
There are a few warning signs that you can check for. With a gas fire look for a yellow or orange flame instead of a blue one, a strange smell when the fire is on, and any stains or soot around the fire itself. If the gas appliance is a boiler look for the same yellow flame, uncommon smell, and stains at the top of the unit.
Ensuring that your gas appliances are well maintained and inspected regularly minimizes the risk. These checks must be carried out by a Gas Safe Registered engineer and occur at least once every 12 months.
Since carbon monoxide is invisible to both sight and smell, a carbon monoxide detector is a must. Install these according to their manufacturer's instructions and test them regularly. You can also minimize your risk by making sure that the room is properly ventilated; never cover a vent, especially when a gas appliance is in use.
CO poisoning is often mistaken for the flu, as it creates nausea, sickness, and headaches. Other symptoms include stomach pains, general tiredness and fatigue.
If you suffer from any of these symptoms, you may require immediate medical attention. One of the biggest dangers of CO poisoning is that the symptoms can be easily missed or mistaken for the flu; causing the person to remain indoors and further expose themselves to the noxious gas.
Play it Safe:
- Open windows and doors & leave the house!
- Seek fresh air immediately
- Go to an emergency room/hospital and inform a doctor that you may be suffering from CO poisoning