Carbon monoxide the silent killer

Be #autumnaware about carbon monoxide dangers

With the weather changing and us all beginning to think about turning up the thermostat, lighting the fire or switching on the heating, it’s a good time to be #autumnaware by making sure your home is protected against Carbon Monoxide (CO).

Commonly referred to as the ‘silent killer’, carbon monoxide cannot be smelt, seen or tasted and at this time of year it’s common to see a rise in the number of CO poisoning cases. Potential sources of CO can include house fires, defective boilers, open fires, barbeques and chemicals.

Mark Ainsworth-Smith, Consultant Pre-Hospital Care Practitioner, said: “Symptoms of CO poisoning vary from case to case and can be anything from flu like symptoms, headaches and drowsiness, to stroke symptoms, unconsciousness and ultimately death.”

There are many ways you can guard against CO in your home, but the simplest are to ensure that your boiler is regularly serviced, and that you have a CO detector fitted in your home. So whether you are a homeowner or renting, remember that detectors are cheap, simple to install and available from most DIY stores.

Mark continues: “We would really encourage everyone to make sure your appliances are safe this autumn and that you have you have a carbon monoxide monitor to protect yourself against the ‘silent killer’.”

You should also remember to test them regularly and change batteries as required. More information about CO, and CO poisoning prevention can be found on the NHS choices website. If you suspect that you have been exposed, call 111 or in an emergency dial 999.

Dozens of people every year die as a result of the ‘silent killer’, and many more are left with severe disabilities, so don’t ignore the risk at this time of year.

Keep up to date with our #autumnaware campaign by following @SCAS999 on Twitter.
Contact The Gas Safe Register for qualified Gas Engineers

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