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Information on carbon monoxide

Carbon monoxide (CO) is produced when any kind of fossil fuel doesn’t burn properly. It can cause a variety of symptoms (tiredness, drowsiness, headaches, giddiness, nausea, vomiting, pains in the chest, breathlessness, stomach pains, erratic behaviour and visual problems), so it’s vital you know when you’re at risk, what to look out for and what to do if you detect CO in your home.

You’re at risk from CO poisoning if:

  • Your appliance was poorly installed or isn’t working properly.
  • Your appliance hasn’t been checked for safety or maintained regularly.
  • There isn’t enough fresh air in the room or your chimney/flue gets blocked.
  • Your appliances are installed or maintained by anyone who isn’t a Gas Safe Register™ Engineer.

Signs to look out for include:

  • Yellow or brown staining around or on appliances.
  • Pilot lights that frequently blow out.
  • Increased condensation inside windows.
  • Yellow rather than a blue flame (except for flueless fires).

If you think your appliance is spilling CO:

  • Switch it off and don’t use it again until remedial action has been taken.
  • Open all doors and windows to ventilate the room - do not sleep in it.
  • Visit your GP urgently – tell them you think you may be suffering from CO poisoning and ask for either a blood and/or breath sample.
  • Contact a Gas Safe Register™ Engineer to make repairs.

Get a Carbon Monoxide alarm

Installing an approved carbon monoxide detector can aid early detection and reduce the risk of CO poisoning in your home. Protect yourself and your family from the ‘silent killer’.

Order your CO alarm

More information on carbon monoxide awareness is available from:

Updated by ScottishPower | 17 Mar 20

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