Friday, October 27, 2006

Carbon Monoxide threat - reminder

It is that time of the year again when the clocks go back and once again I feel obliged to warn people about taking preventative measures to make sure you dont get poisoned by carbon monoxide poisoning when you start heating your home again.

Most people believe that carbon monoxide poisoning is only caused by faulty gas fires or boilers, and indeed they are often at fault. But any kind of fossil fuel that burns can cause this terrible poison if it does not have a clear and open passage to the open air. Now that people are firing up their boilers, turning on their gas fires and lighting the first open fire of winter, they need to be absolutely sure that they have followed all the safety guidelines.

You must have your chimney swept at least once a year before you light up that fire. If you live in a smokeless zone and the fuel you are burning does not give off smoke, you will have no idea what danger you might be in.Unfortunately carbon monoxide cannot be seen, tasted or smelt, it is a totally invisible deadly gas. The symptoms are not dissimilar to flu; however vital clues may lie in a sense of disorientation and dizziness as well as sickness. If you or someone close to you is becoming sick and confused then it is probably a very good idea to turn off the fire, open the windows, leave the house and have a GP check you out.

Sadly of course many people cuddle up on the sofa with a blanket when they feel ill. You couldn't do a worse thing with carbon monoxide. Be safe this winter, dont light the fire or turn on the boiler until you have had an annual check.

I have a monitor at home, it is plugged into the mains and does a check of the air quality every so many seconds. Having lost my fiance to this poisonous gas in 1999 I could not rest without this reassurance, get one, they are not expensive and they might just save your life.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks Louise. Thinking of you.

Arlene McCarthy MEP also has an info page on her wesbite which is quite useful: