Know the danger
A recent report by the All-Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group (APPCMG) shows that every year there are around 50 deaths and 200 people admitted to hospital due to carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning in the UK.
Assess your vulnerability
CO gas is dangerous for everyone, but vulnerable groups include babies and children, pregnant women and people with heart or respiratory problems. Pets are often the first to be affected. According to the APPCMG, signs of CO poisoning in pregnant women, such as nausea and headache, are being misdiagnosed as pregnancy symptoms.
Check for causes
Faulty boilers or gas fires, poorly ventilated cookers, blocked flues or chimneys can produce CO gas.
Know the symptoms
CO gas has no odour or taste. The most common symptoms of poisoning include a tension-type headache, dizziness, nausea, tiredness, stomach pains and shortness of breath. Suspect CO poisoning if people you live with have similar symptoms or if you feel better when you’re away from home.
You can buy a CO alarm for around £16 and they last for seven to 10 years. If you suspect a leak, open windows and doors and leave the property immediately. Seek help from the emergency services.