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:
Carbon Monoxide - Be Alarmed!
Health and Safety Executive website
Gas Safe Register
Get your gas appliances and boiler serviced regularly
Every year people die from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by gas appliances and flues which haven’t been properly installed or maintained. That’s why we advise all our customers to have their gas appliances and boiler checked every year by a Gas Safe Register™ Engineer.
You could be entitled to a free safety check if:
You own and occupy your home and
A) you’re over 60 years of age, disabled or chronically sick, and either live alone or with others, all of whom are over 60, under 18, disabled or chronically sick or
B) you live with others, including at least one child who’s aged under five years and you receive a means tested benefit.
If you’re a tenant, your landlord has a legal duty to carry out an annual gas safety check and maintain gas appliances. They must also provide you with a copy of the completed gas safety check certificate.
It’s just as important to get your boiler and other appliances checked if you use other carbon based fuels, such as coal, wood or oil. Make sure that any chimneys or flues aren’t blocked up and that vents aren’t covered. You should also get your chimney swept at least once a year.
For information on competent persons' schemes for coal, wood or oil burning heating systems and appliances, click on the following links:
We know that a warm home and hot water are some of the things you rely on everyday. That's why we work with Domestic & General to offer a range of gas Boiler Care options to suit your needs, helping keep you cosy all year round.
Domestic & General are the UK's leading specialist warranty provider offering Boiler Maintenance & Support and Boiler Insurance plans.
You can also find out more information on how to maintain your gas appliances, and learn about the dangers of Carbon Monoxide.
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Gas Appliance Care
find out why it's important to have your appliances serviced regularly by a Gas Safe Register Engineer.
Learn more about the dangers of Carbon Monoxide poisoning, and how to prevent it.
Find out more