If I had poisoning by carbon monoxide water would I notice?

You may observe common flu like symptoms in someone who is actually suffering from Carbon Monoxide inhalation with features like: –
– ongoing headaches
– loss of balance
– fatigue
– urge to vomit

These symptoms should sound the warning bells in your mind. If someone in your family appears like this and you have a gas boiler or other gas appliance such as a gas fire then you should switch it off immediately. Having stopped the cause of carbon monoxide, if you are feeling well, you should also immediately open the doors and windows to improve airflow. During this period all other occupants of the house ought to have been advised to leave and you should follow them immediately. Once you are all out of the house you can then call for a qualified gas boiler engineer, and test for the cause of the problems.

What do you get if you have Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?

Carbon monoxide is poisonous so you should be very careful. this is not the time to be a self appointed expert following reading a review articles on the Internet, if there is any doubt get your family out. Quick action can save your and your family’s lives. Even if you are completely healthy you can fall victim to CO poisoning, yes that is right, even the fit and healthy. This also applies to household pets.

Leaving no smell and having no taste Carbon Monoxide is very dangerous and toxic. Typical gas fire or boiler operation produces harmless gases but lack of oxygen can result in Carbon Monoxide creation. The standard flue gases from a boiler, or other gas appliance such as a gas fire, contain Carbon Dioxide, this is displaced by Carbon Monoxide when the oxygen levels are reduced. Many people suffer as a result of Carbon Monoxide poisoning each year although the implementation of strict boiler ventilation regulations and access to professional maintenance and servicing has cut the number of deaths to 30.

How can I check whether my home has a carbon monoxide problem?

If your gas appliances have indications of discolouration on their surface or on the walls near them you may be seeing some of the results of poor ventilation and production of excess waste gases. You get carbon monoxide produced when the ventilation in your boiler combustion chamber is bad with reduced oxygen levels.. When this happens your pilot light which used to burn with a clear blue colour may change to suddenly displaying a yellow colouration. Changes in the colour of the pilot light indicate that all is not well with the boiler and it should be serviced as soon as time permits.

Tell me how to reduce the chances of Carbon Monoxide related illness.

As mentioned carbon monoxide can be created when a gas flame burns without the right level of oxygen in the surrounding atmosphere. Assuming that a ventilation audit of your proposed installation was completed before your boiler was fitted the best defence to this is the regular and expert servicing of any gas appliances that you have including your boiler. When you call a heating engineer make sure that they are registered under the “gas safe” scheme as that is your guarantee that they understand this issue and have the right level of expertise. Carbon monoxide detectors, carrying a British Standard kite mark, are an important addition to a plan to protect your home against possible poisoning by CO gas.

A gas appliance will be designed to operate correctly with a certain amount of free oxygen in the air stream. Over time you may not notice that external plants have blocked a ventilation grill or that some household item has temporarily, and now permanently, blocked a vent. Also regularly inspect for plants which might be growing near a vent outside as over the course of a year they can also block them. Birds can often build nests in chimneys and block the airflow to gas appliances without you knowing, a visual inspection from the ground should be included within your ventilation action plan. It is important to be able to identify the sound of a carbon monoxide for which will be different from that of your smoke detector. In an emergency you need to be are aware of the different sounds so you know which detector was triggered.

When I buy a detector what should I look for?

Preferred CO detectors should contain an audible alarm and be have British Standards certification. Key points for these alarms are a 5 year plus battery and the loud alarm alerting family members to the presence of carbon monoxide to the need to get to fresh air. Battery powered models with electronic detection are better than the paper based models which use chemical reactions to show a spot on a cardboard detector that changes colour when carbon monoxide levels have increased. Chemical CO detectors loose their effectiveness after 6 months and have to be changed, this increases the lifetime cost and puts you at risk if you forget to change the detector when it has expired. Audible alarms are a significant advantage if CO levels rise at night as the noise will wake you and your family. In addition to do it yourself stores carrying these detectors you may be able to purchase an approved model from your utility company.

Can the general public purchase carbon monoxide detectors?

You do not need a special licence to purchase a carbon monoxide detector. There are now a number of different types available in DIY shops and the supermarket chains. CO detectors have not reached the same levels of reliability as the smoke detectors in your home but the technology is becoming more reliable and they are an important early warning mechanism. A carbon monoxide detector should be your last line of defence but your primary, and most important way of protecting your family, is to ensure that your gas appliances of regularly serviced..

The benefits of installing a Carbon Monoxide detector

Early advice of rising levels of CO can give people enough time to leave a building before the in advance of CO problems developing. The setting up and fitting of CO detectors gives this warning. Properly installed detectors monitor carbon monoxide levels over time and are designed to sound an alarm before an average, healthy adult would experience symptoms of poisoning. Whilst your smoke detectors need to be set of factsr ceiling level there is no such requirement for a carbon monoxide unit. They should be fitted as per the manufacturers instructions and definitely give some thought to installing them where they can be heard by bedroom occupants, you need to be woken quickly should the alarm be triggered.

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