Government Warns Homeowners To Stay Carbon Monoxide Safe
10 December 2013
As the winter months get colder, the government are urging homeowners across the nation to have solid fuel, oil and gas appliances checked to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
In recent months there have been a number of cases of carbon monoxide poisoning across the UK, most recently in Cornwall, where two such incidents have been reported within the space of a week.
Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless gas, which is difficult to detect and is most commonly associated with gas central heating, however this is not the case. Solid fuel appliances such as coal fire, wood burning stoves and oil fired appliances are all just as likely to pose a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning to homeowners as gas appliances.
There are approximately 40 accidental deaths a year from this type of poisoning and the government are introducing tips and advice as part of a campaign to educate and inform people across the UK, in order to decrease this figure dramatically.
Winter months are when most homeowners are likely to check and/or service gas, oil or solid fuel appliances and homeowners are being asked to check every appliance, service where needed and install life saving carbon monoxide detectors, which can sound an alert upon detecting the toxic gas.
Dr. Simon Boueffler of Public Health England's Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards recently advised that: "Although carbon monoxide may be hard to detect, there are sometimes indicators that may suggest a fault with domestic appliances or flues. The signs of trouble are black sooty marks on the radiants - the clay bars above a gas flame, or sooty marks around fires, stoves or boilers, or smoke accumulating in rooms due to faulty flues."
Dr. Boueffler went on to advise any homeowners concerned about the presence of potential trouble with an appliance, to turn the appliance off immediately, open the windows and get a registered engineer to check the appliance as soon as possible."
For more information on staying carbon monoxide safe this winter, you can access Public Health for England's 'Cold Weather Plan for England 2013
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