Harlequin Provides Tips and Advice for Staying Carbon Monoxide Safe

Harlequin Provides Tips and Advice for Staying Carbon Monoxide Safe
17 December 2013

Carbon monoxide poisoning is one of the most publicised health related topics each winter and this is because homeowners put their lives at risk each year by not adequately checking and maintaining appliances as a preventative measure.

Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless gas, which can be extremely difficult to detect, for those unforunate enough to come into contact with it, it is often too late. However, there are simple steps which one can take to reduce the risk of this type of poisoning. If you haven't carried out at least two of these steps, you must do.


  1. Get educated. Many people consider carbon monoxide poisoning to be something which is only associated with gas fired appliances. This is not correct. It is present in all types of appliances from solid fuel heaters and stoves, to oil fired central heating and appliances and yes, certainly gas appliances too. Whatever type of heating and/or stove system you have, get it checked regularly by a registered technician.
  2. Check for the presence of black, sooty marks around the radiants. These are the clay bars above a gas flame.
  3. Buy an audible alarm. You can of course take steps to look for signs of carbon monoxide without having to spend any money, but my advice to you would be that if even if you are to scrimp and save for anything this winter, let that be a carbon monoxide alarm. You cannot put a price on saving a life and these alarms are inexpensive, yet quite literally life saving.
  4. Check for smoke accumulating in rooms due to faulty flues. This can be particularly prevelent with solid fuel / wood burning fires. Faulty flues will quite often result in smoke re-entering the room. This can be extremely toxic. If this happens to you, turn the appliance off or put it out immediately and call a registered technician.
  5. Stay alert. If you are concerned about the presence of carbon monoxide in your home because of noticing any of the tell-tale signs of trouble, contact your GP immediately. Leave your home immediately and arrange for a technician to visit as soon as possible and get to your local doctor at the earliest opportunity.

Carbon monoxide deaths are easily avoidable and are therefore even more tragic. These deaths typically occur between November and February each year and as such, now is the time to act. Winter is the most common time of year for checking heating and stove appliances, so while you're checking yours to ensure it's fit for the winter ahead, don't just focus on preventing it from breaking during a cold spell. Get it thoroughly checked for signs of carbon monoxide and ensure where possible that as many of your friends, family and neighbours do too.


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