Archive for the ‘Carbon Monoxide’ Category

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.

What will I see if I have carbon monoxide gas within in my home?

Gas combustion in an oxygen poor atmosphere can produce visible deposits which can discolour gas appliances and the walls surrounding them. A yellow pilot light is an indication of a problem in the gas combustion chamber which may be caused by a lack of oxygen through poor ventilation. The pilot light is a very good visual indicator of the state of health of your system. If you see a yellow flame this is your early warning that the boiler is not operating correctly and needs a maintenance visit with delay.

Can the general public purchase carbon monoxide monitor?

Accumulated exposure to carbon monoxide can lead to death and CO detectors can provide the inhabitants of a house with detection of the build-up of the gas. Carbon monoxide detectors have become more commonplace these days and there are many electronics shops from which you can purchase one of these either by visiting a shop or mail order and Internet. Carbon monoxide monitors set off an alarm based on an a gradual build-up of carbon monoxide in the locality. Smoke detectors were created before carbon monoxide alarms and the latter are gradually becoming as reliable as the former giving a great first front-line defence against carbon one oxide. You should ensure you have regular servicing of your appliances and treat your carbon monoxide detector as a secondary, backup measure. It is not your first line of defence.

A good detector will have these features

Preferred CO monitors 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 creeping growth of carbon monoxide to the need to get to fresh air. There are some lower price detectors available which indicate the presence of carbon monoxide by the change in colours that they display. These work by impregnating chemicals into a card, chemicals which change colour on the presence of carbon monoxide. Chemical CO monitors 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. Carbon monoxide is no respecter of the clock and levels could build up through the night. For this reason we believe that the loud alarm on the electronic detectors can be a major advantage as it could wait you from sleep and signal that there is a problem in the house. Both types of monitors are now commonly available in DIY stores.

Carbon monoxide monitor fitting

If your home has a carbon monoxide detector which is operating correctly you will be getting advance warning of any buildup of this toxic substance in your home The levels at which carbon monoxide detectors activate are measured against the level of gas that would start to harm a healthy adult. As such you need to act quickly when children could have been exposed to the emissions as they can be harmed by lower levels of the gas. Whilst they sound similar aCarbon monoxide detector will have a different installation requirement from last that you may know of for a smoke detector. Most importantly there is no requirement for them to be installed at the top of a vertical wall or on a clear area of your ceiling. For maximum effectiveness during sleeping hours, carbon monoxide detectors of are best placed close to sleeping areas.

Check your carbon monoxide detectors frequently

As with all safety equipment a detector should be tested throughout the year to make sure that it is working effectively. Detectors should come with instructions detailing the steps to take to check the effective functioning of the detector. A detector should be checked at least once per month to confirm it is working properly, if it fails replace it with a new detector without delay. The ‘test’ feature on many detectors checks the functioning of the alarm and not the status of the detector. After 48 months (2 years) some detectors may be past their “sell by date” and require replacement. As this timescale will depend upon the specific monitored you have you should check how long your detector will operate when you first purchase it. Some models of detector have lifespans up to 5 years some are mains powered, others are battery powered. You should considering your requirements and select the model that meets your needs. Some of the latest home detectors are multi functional having both smoke detection in them and additionally possessing capabilities to detect carbon monoxide. You must look at the installation requirements for these multifunctional devices very carefully

Carbon Monoxide is known as one of the most hazardous home gases because it is thoroughly undetectable having no smell or taste. Bad ventilation to a boiler can create an environment which leads to the the production of this gas. Properly balanced ventilation will result in Carbon Dioxide output, Carbon Monoxide will result if the level of oxygen is restricted with reduced airflow or a blocked flue. With high standards of boiler servicing and strict ventilation regulations the number of people killed by Carbon Monoxide has reduced to 30 people each year although many more are seriously injured.

A list of the warning signs of carbon monoxide in the environment?

If you notice any of these symptoms and you have a gas appliance will then you need to consider whether carbon monoxide poisoning is involved: –
* regular incidences of headaches
* loss of balance
* fatigue
* sickness

A CORGI certified gas engineer should be brought in to inspect your gas boilers and appliances if you notice these symptoms in your family. Whilst waiting for the engineer to arrive you should take care to check that you have opened the windows and everyone has left the house.

One’s family be protected from the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning?

The earlier part of this article outlined that carbon monoxide is a result when there is more combustion of gas caused by a lack of oxygen. Gas boilers are carefully designed to be efficient burners of gas and you can reduce any possibility of carbon monoxide production by ensuring that your boiler has a thorough annual service. Of course you also need to ensure that the heating engineer servicing your boiler is doing a professional job, check that they are “gas safe” qualified as this is the industry body that certifies that plumbers and heating engineers operate to the correct standards. 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. Air ventilation bricks and panels should be kept clear and checked throughout the year to make sure that the planned air flow is maintained to your gas appliances.

It is not uncommon for fast growing plants and vegetation to block a previously clear ventilation duct. This is easily avoided with a quick visual inspection in the late spring. And keep an eye on your chimney and make sure that it doesn’t become blocked with birds’ nests or other debris. Know the difference between the sound of smoke alarms and CO alarms. If the CO detector alarm triggers make sure that your family members can recognise that it is the CO detector and not your smoke detector.

How to go about fitting your carbon monoxide detection unit

It is a good idea to fit a carbon monoxide detection unit in your home as it will give an early audible indication of high levels of the gas in order that you can take evasive action before you suffer from any of the symptoms. The levels at which carbon monoxide testers are triggered are measured against the level of gas that would start to harm a healthy adult. As such you need to act quickly when children could have been exposed to the emissions as they can be harmed by lower levels of the gas. Smoke detectors are installed near the ceiling as smoke rises, this is not true of carbon monoxide testers and hence these testers can be installed lower on the wall. Make sure that you will be woken should your carbon monoxide tester go off whilst you are asleep. Install the alarm near your sleeping areas.

Carbon Monoxide testers should be regularly tested

Make a note to test your detector on a regular basis to ensure it is working. Detectors should come with instructions detailing the steps to take to check the effective functioning of the detector. Having a detector does not mean that you should now forget it and rest assured that as well. Any detector is only effective when it is working and you should ensure that you regularly test the unit to make sure that there is no malfunction or that perhaps the battery has run down. Modern units have a test button you can press to carry out the cheque, this will activate the alarm and check the battery and the speaker. Do not assume that this is detecting and what level the alarm will go of as this is not tested in this process. Many Carbon monoxide detectors have a limited lifetime, this can be 48 months or less. There are detectors on sale which can operate for 60 months In addition to battery models there are some that are mains powered and have battery backup to cover power failures. The choice is yours. There are combined detectors sold which combine smoke and carbon monoxide detectors within the same case. These may have specific installation instructions as advised by the manufacturer and you should pay particular attention as to how these should be installed.

Are you able to purchase carbon monoxide detectors?

Domestic carbon monoxide poisoning can be prevented by the use of household carbon monoxide testers. Several different and relatively inexpensive detectors are available in stores. The gradual accumulation of carbon monoxide gas over time will lead to the detector being set off. Smoke detectors have become a standard feature in homes and the technology is reliable, CO detectors are not yet as reliable but the technology is making rapid strides. Your best protection against exposure to carbon monoxide is the regular servicing of your gas burning appliances. A CO detector will only ever be a backup measure.

What are the features that a good detector process?

Ensure that the detector you get is certified in relation to the appropriate British Standards and has a loud alarm. Make sure you get a loud alarm and one that has a battery life of 5 years at the minimum. Cheaper CO detectors have a coloured spot that changes colour when carbon monoxide levels rise and these should not be used in preference to a battery alarm. Colour change detectors do not have an audible alarm and cannot alert you the moment there is a problem. Also they only last for 6 months and the lower price can be a false economy. Chemical detectors lack of loud alarms prevents them from waking your family at night time if CO levels rise and this could be a major safety issue. Many types of shops carry these detectors and smoke alarms also.

What will I see if I have an issue in my home?

Carbon Dioxide production is often a result of incomplete combustion and this can be seen as the deposit of soot discolouring surfaces near your gas appliances. You can also check pilot lights and other gas flames that normally burn blue through an inspection chamber if fitted. 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.

Carbon Monoxide (CO) cannot be tasted and has no smell giving no opportunity to detect this dangerous gas. You will get it produced by a gas central heating boiler when there is not sufficient oxygen in the free air supply to the gas boiler combustion chamber, it is also created when you have a faulty gas appliance such as a fire or other gas unit. Properly balanced ventilation will result in Carbon Dioxide output, Carbon Monoxide will result if the level of oxygen is restricted with reduced airflow or a blocked flue. The latest gas ventilation requirements are outlined in the gas regulations and the now common availability of gas boiler and appliance servicing operations has cut the number of deaths attributable to carbon monoxide down to 30 per annual.

What are the risks with CO poisoning?

Carbon monoxide is poisonous so you should be very careful. It is easy to read about carbon monoxide symptoms and convince yourself that it is not applicable to your situation, protect your health and seek professional advice. Quick action can save your and your family’s lives. Age and good health are no defence against poisoning from carbon monoxide.

Do you know the symptoms of carbon monoxide gas poisoning?

The symptoms as a result of carbon monoxide gas poisoning can often be confused with other flu like illnesses and include:-
* headaches which occur daily
* light headiness
* weariness
* biliousness

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

Bad ventilation resulting in lack of oxygen leads to the creation of poisonous carbon monoxide. Gas appliance engineers will check the ventilation and combustion efficiency of your gas appliances during the regular maintenance visits eliminating the causes of poor combustion. To guarantee compliance with the gas appliance servicing regulations make sure that the gas engineer you hire to service your appliances has CORGI registration. Carbon monoxide detectors can give a warning of abnormal carbon monoxide levels, models with a loud alarm are the most effective at warning the inhabitants of the home. Provision of the recommended ventilation to gas appliances is essential and you should regularly inspect any ventilation vents to ensure that the flow of air can be maintained. Moving outside your property take a look at all ventilation ducts and air bricks to make certain that they have not been covered by plant growth. 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. Smoke and CO detectors are manufactured to make different audible sounds when triggered. Take some time to learn the differences so that you know what to do when one of your detectors is set off.

Installing a Carbon Monoxide alarm in your home

The installation of CO alarms give a warning to people in a building of unhealthy or dangerous levels of CO before the symptoms of CO poisoning occur. Carbon monoxide alarms will sound the alarm before the concentrations of gas have reached the levels where an adult would be effected. Unlike smoke detectors, they do not need to be placed near ceiling level. You need a CO detector to wake you whilst sleeping if carbon monoxide is detected so detectors should be sited where the alarm can be heard from the bedrooms.

What features will a good alarm have?

A Carbon monoxide detector complying to the appropriate British Standards will incorporate a loud alarm. Look for a good alarm and 5 year battery life as minimum requirements in a CO detector. If you are able to pay more to get the battery powered electronic detectors rather than chemical based models using chemical reactions and colour changes to show an alarm as these may not be noticed in time. These are not recommended as they have a life of around six months and you must remember to replace them regularly. The ability to wake you up in the middle of the night is an important advantage that battery detectors have over the more passive chemical detectors. Carbon Monoxide detectors can now be bought from many shops.

Can I buy a carbon monoxide detector ?

CO detectors are important household aids in detecting carbon monoxide and giving early warning of potential problems. In recent years there are several types of detectors becoming available for purchase on the high street. Carbon monoxide detectors trigger an alarm based on an accumulation of carbon monoxide over time. The technology in carbon monoxide detectors is not yet as reliable as that used in smoke detectors but it is becoming more so over time. You should always ensure you have a proper maintenance schedule for your appliances, having a carbon monoxide detector does not enable you to save on regular appliance servicing.

CO Detectors must be tested regularly

Your safety is dependent upon your detector so regularly check it is working correctly. CO detectors should be installed, checked and serviced in line with the manufacturer’s instructions just like your gas boiler should be checked. Detectors should be tested monthly and replaced if problems are found. Many detectors have a test button, this does not test the detector but its purpose is to trigger the alarm so that you can confirm that the sound and the battery are working. Be aware that the average life span of many carbon monoxide detectors is about 2 years Some detectors last up to 5 years and operate off the mains or battery. You will need to select a model that meets your needs. Combination smoke detector and CO detectors are available and should also be installed in accordance with the manufacturer instructions.

Carbon monoxide is a very poisonous gas with no taste, no colour and no smell. It can be produced by a boiler when there is insufficient oxygen in the air supply to the combustion chamber, it is also produced by faulty gas fires and other gas appliances. The lack of oxygen means that Carbon Monoxide is produced rather than the less dangerous Carbon Dioxide. Building regulations prescribing ventilation requirements and the widespread availability gas appliance servicing services has reduced the incidence of Carbon Monoxide poisoning although there are still 30 deaths per year.

What will Carbon Monoxide Poisoning result in?

Don’t take risks, if you think there is carbon monoxide around do not delay. Be decisive and look after your household straight away. Anyone can fall victim to CO poisoning, even the fit and healthy. It is common for pets to be harmed in the same way as humans.

What are the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning?

Carbon Monoxide absorption can result in the following symptoms: –
* ongoing headaches
* queasiness
* extreme tiredness
* sickness

If you’re alarm triggers get everybody out of the house and call a CORGI registered gas engineer. The alarm is indicating the presence of carbon monoxide and this can be reduced by opening doors and Windows to get fresh air flowing through the house provided this can be achieved without taking any risks.

How can I see I have a carbon monoxide problem?

One way of visually checking for potential problems is to check for signs of staining, soot or discoloration on or around gas boilers, fires and water heaters. Poor ventilation can reduce the volume of oxygen available to burn gas within a boiler resulting in the output of carbon dioxide, in these circumstances a pilot light may change from burning with the usual blue colour to a yellow colouration. Act as though a yellow pilot light was a large neon sign shouting help. This is a signal that your gas appliance needs a thorough maintenance review and service.

What should I do to protect myself and my family from carbon monoxide poisoning ?

Carbon monoxide is output from a boiler when there is not enough oxygen available for the flame to burn all the gas in the combustion chamber. Getting a regular boiler service should avoid this provided that there are no long-standing performance problems in your boiler. Any engineer you contract to service your gas appliances should be CORGI-registered which will ensure that they have the training required to complete the task to the required standards. You can now buy electronic, battery powered, carbon monoxide detectors which sound an alarm on detection of high levels of the gas. Gas appliances require adequate ventilation and you should make sure that this is satisfactory, one particular danger area is the covering up of ventilation vents in the summer through home decorating and the storage of surplus items.. On several occasions ventilation reviews have discovered air vents which have been blocked by fast growing plants and you should look for this throughout the growing season. And make sure your chimney doesn’t become blocked with birds’ nests or other debris. Ensure that you are aware of the different sounds from your smoke alarms and your CO alarms. If the carbon monoxide detector alarm sounds be certain that it was your CO detector and not your smoke detector.

Preferred CO detectors should contain a very loud and shrill alarm and be have British Standards certification. These typically have batteries which will have a long lifetime typically to five years and have a loud alarm which goes off when carbon monoxide fumes are detected giving you time to evacuate the room.

If you get the choice selects one of the electronic detectors. There are an alternative type of detector in the market which use chemicals to test for any circulating carbon monoxide in the air. To check whether the lethal gas has been detected you will be required to compare the colour and chemicals on the card with alternative colours in the manufacturer’s instructions. This type of detector gives an indication that carbon monoxide has been detected through colour changes on the card. The limited life time of these type of testers is a major drawback and places a responsibility on you to schedule when need to be changed. Whilst colour change detectors can be effective their major defect is that they have no way of alerting you to an issue unless you are looking at the car and having no sound alarm capability can be an issue.

Purchasing carbon monoxide detectors

Carbon monoxide units and detectors can be effective in preventing incidences of carbon monoxide poisoning. Whether you are shopping in the street or on the web you now have the option of a couple of cover monoxide detector types. It is the presence and gradual buildup of carbon monoxide in an area that sets of your detector. Now most homes have a standard smoke detector and their design has become stable, it has not yet been established that the latest, monoxide detection units have reached the same reliability levels as smoke detectors however the new technology is fast becoming robust. You should ensure you have regular servicing of your appliances and treat your carbon monoxide detector as a secondary, backup measure. It is not your first line of defence.

The advantages of having a detector in your home

Early warning of heightened CO levels can ensure that fatalities do not occur. Battery driven carbon monoxide alarms have the ability to issue an audible alarm before the levels of gas have have developed to become of concern to a group of. Carbon monoxide detection units need to be installed in a different way to the common smoke detector which you might be more familiar with. As an example these types of unit do not require to be fitted on the ceiling or upper part of a wall. If your alarm can be heard when you are in the bedroom then you can be certain that it should be able to wake you when sleeping if required.

The operation of detectors must be checked frequently

A carbon monoxide detector is only effective if it is working correctly so you need to regularly test the unit. Refer to the manufacturer instructions to learn how to check that the detector is operating correctly. A detector should be checked at least once per month to confirm it is working properly, if it fails replace it with a new detector without delay. On this point not everyone understands that the test facility on these alarm is actually testing the power of the battery and that the alarm is audible, they are not checking the carbon monoxide levels at which the alarm will trigger. Be aware that there is a limited operating lifespan for these detectors, for or five years typically, so you need to check this and replace the unit when it has expired. There are some recent detectors now available which are able to function for 60 months. The power supply is also have variations with some being mains operated, some being battery-operated and if you of the mains operated devices having a battery backup. The choice is yours.

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is virtually undetectable by our senses meaning that we are completely unaware of its presence. 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 contain Carbon Dioxide, this is displaced by Carbon Monoxide when the oxygen levels are reduced. As regulations have been adopted requiring less ventilation for gas boilers the incidences of carbon monoxide poisoning have reduced. This has been further reinforced by the wide availability of boiler servicing plans making a real reduction in the number of unsafe boilers.

Can you identify a problem if you look at your gas appliances?

If you want you can conduct a quick visual inspection of your gas appliances and keep an eye out for any staining, sooting or similar type of discoloration on or around gas boilers, fires and water heaters. Inspecting gas pilot lights can provide a suggestion of a problem as the colour of the pilot light in the appliance could change it’s colour from blue to yellow. If you notice your system operating with a yellow light call in and experience boiler maintenance engineer the same day.

What actions can I take to reduce the chances of Carbon Monoxide toxicity?

The fundamental reason that carbon monoxide gas is developed is down to the fact that there is a lack of ventilation in the boiler combustion chamber. Gas appliance engineers will check the ventilation and combustion efficiency of your gas appliances during the regular maintenance visits eliminating the causes of poor combustion. It is essential that the gas boiler maintenance team employed are properly qualified and up to date on the latest regulations – the gas safe and is your guide to this. Fitting a carbon monoxide detector with an audible alarm is also a valuable investment to provide quick and rapid warning of potential carbon monoxide poisoning. Provision of the recommended ventilation to gas appliances is essential and you should regularly inspect any ventilation vents to ensure that the flow of air can be maintained. Garden plants can also be a danger to you as growth throughout the summer can block air vents to a boiler which may not be in operation until the cold weather returns.

As outlandish as it may seem a birds nest may block the ventilation from your chimney and you may not notice if a fire is not used in the middle of the year so it could be a good idea to visually check this from the outside. An annual gas fire appliance service should pick this up with a smoke test for the unit. Know the difference between the sound of smoke alarms and CO alarms. If the detector triggers and starts emitting a loud din make sure it is your CO detector and not your smoke detector.

How dangerous is Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?

If there is any suspicion of carbon monoxide in your house do not delay and take action immediately. Delay is a major cause of fatalities and you cannot replay the clock if you dillydally with carbon monoxide. Take action today and ensure you are able to take action tomorrow. Age and good health are no defence against poisoning from carbon monoxide. Your pets could also be injured or worse.

What might I see if there was carbon monoxide in my home?

You may observe common flu like symptoms in someone who is actually suffering from Carbon Monoxide inhalation with features like: –
– persistent headaches
– balance problems
– weariness
– upset stomach and sickness

A CORGI certified gas engineer should be brought in to inspect your gas appliances if you notice these symptoms in your family. Whilst waiting for the engineer to arrive you should ensure that you have opened the windows and everyone has left the house.

How do you quickly checking for carbon monoxide problems?

If you see stains, soot or coloration on or near gas boilers, and also gas appliances such as water heaters this could indicate that you have a potential problem. You can also check pilot lights and other gas flames that normally burn blue through an inspection chamber if fitted. You should call in a trained engineer to maintain your heating system if you notice that the pilot light starts to burn with a yellow light.

Carbon Monoxide is one of the most poisonous gases and it is undetectable with no smell or taste. The gas is a by product of combustion with insufficient oxygen supply such as can happen in a badly ventilated boiler. In normal gas appliance operation carbon dioxide is a harmless by-products. If the combustion is ineffective there is a danger that carbon dioxide is replaced by carbon monoxide. Following the adoption of regular boiler servicing and regulations governing ventilation levels deaths from Carbon Monoxide have been held at 30 per annum although there are many more injuries from poisoning.

How do I protect everyone from Carbon Monoxide and potential poisoning?

The underlying cause of carbon monoxide production is lack of ventilation to a gas flame. Checking the components of the exhaust gases should be a standard part of a gas boiler and appliance maintenance visit from a trained engineer and this will give early warning of any ventilation issues. To ensure that you get expert appliance service you should check the qualifications of your plumber or heating engineer. “Gas safe” is a good logo to look for. there are now commonly available electronic carbon monoxide detectors for the home. These check for the presence of the gas and contain a loud alarm to alert you if required. Air vents maintain the required air flow to you gas appliances and it is important that these are kept free of any obstructions as this could result in a reduced flow of air. 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. Chimney ventilation can become obstructed in the summer by a birds nest and you may not notice id a fire is not used in the summer so a visual inspection should be incorporated in your home maintenance plans. Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors make different sounds. You should ensure that your family know the differences so that they take the correct action when one of your detectors is triggered.

Are there any early warning signs?

Carbon Monoxide poisoning exhibits symptoms which can appear like other illnesses, for example: –
– frequent headaches
– queasiness
– fatigue
– urge to vomit

On identification of any of these symptoms gift to fresh air straightaway. When you have ensured that all your family or safe with care you can open windows and switch off the gas appliances to improve the ventilation before you seek external help. Make sure that your family are aware that you are opening the windows and do not spend any length of time in a room you suspect has carbon monoxide.

What are the features of a good detector?

Ensure that the detector you get is certified to the appropriate British Standards and has a loud alarm. A menu on set of features in a CO detector will be a good life battery and irritating alarm! Often reviews will show that Battery powered detectors are are more practical than the units which use chemical reactions to detect the gas. These operate on a provisional basis and the change of colour of chemicals on a sheet of paper to confirm that the gas has been detected. Chemical detectors have 6 month lifetimes and are not cost effective in the long run as they have to be replaced often. 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.

Do the stores stock carbon monoxide detectors?

You now have a choice of detector types and most of these are available in the shops or online. CO detectors monitor for any buildup of this gas over time and are triggered at a predetermined level. CO detectors are not yet as common as smoke detectors in your home but they are becoming more common and they are an important early warning mechanism. While Carbon monoxide detectors are a valuable addition to your home protection measures they are not a substitute for proper appliance maintenance and servicing.

The benefits of putting in a Carbon Monoxide detector

The purpose of a detector is to let you know of a problem before you start to observe the symptoms in your family members. Acting rather like a mine canary the should trigger long before levels of the gas would cause you a problem. Carbon monoxide detectors have installation requirements separate from those of smoke detectors and you need to look at the manufacturers instructions.

Test, test and test again

Make sure that the detector is working correctly by testing it regularly. Test CO alarms at least once a month and replace them according to the service instructions if found to be defective. You should note that the ‘test’ button on a co detector will test the alarm rather than confirm that the detector is detecting carbon monoxide. You should note when the detector needs to be replaced, some have an operating life of only 48 months. There are detectors on sale which can operate for 60 months In addition to battery models there are some that are mains powered and have battery backup to cover power failures. The choice is yours. Some detectors incorporate smoke detection and also carbon monoxide gas detection. They will have their own installation instructions which you should follow closely.

Carbon monoxide is a very poisonous gas with no taste, no colour and no smell. Bad ventilation to a boiler can lead to the production of this gas.When there is insufficient oxygen the burning process can produce very dangerous, carbon monoxide rather than the normal, and far less toxic, carbon dioxide. With high standards of boiler servicing and strict ventilation regulations the number of people killed by Carbon Monoxide has reduced to 30 people each year although many more are seriously injured.

What are the dangers associated with Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?

If you suspect, carbon monoxide poisoning act without delay and take great care if at any time there are one or  more indicators of carbon monoxide absorption in your family. , one oxide is dangerous and the guys are not throw a game if you get on the wrong side of it so do not wait if in any way you suspect it is present. Be decisive and look after your household straight away. Any member of the family can be affected by carbon monoxide regardless of their age. Frequently pets will be harmed in a very similar way as humans can be.

How could I check if I suspect my home has a carbon monoxide problem?

If your gas boiler or gas appliances have indications of discoloration 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. Looking at the pilot light can give you a good first indication as the typical well maintained flame in a boiler will be blue, rather than the yellow which is exhibited when there is a problem. 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.

What actions can I take to reduce the chances of Carbon Monoxide poisoning?

Bad ventilation resulting in lack of oxygen leads to the production of poisonous carbon monoxide. Gas appliance combustion problems can be avoided by adopting a regular appliance servicing schedule by trained appliance engineers. Any engineer you contract to service your gas appliances should be CORGI-registered which will ensure that they have the training required to complete the task to the required standards. You can now easily purchase electronic, battery powered, carbon monoxide detectors. These outputs a very loud alarm if they detect low levels of carbon monoxide. Provision of the recommended ventilation to gas appliances is essential and you should regularly inspect any ventilation vents to ensure that the flow of air can be maintained.

Make a note to frequently inspect external events to ensure that there aren’t any plans which have grown over the course of the year and started to block the event. If your home has a chimney to provide appliance ventilation look out for birds nests in the spring as the creation of a nest in a chimney which is not being used in the warm weather could completely block the ventilation when required in the winter. To help you understand what the problem is the smoke alarm will make a different sound from the carbon monoxide alarm. Ensure that all of the members of your household are fully aware of the different noises that each of these alarms makes in order that they can take the appropriate action upon hearing them.

Are there any the visible symptoms show when someone has carbon monoxide poisoning?

The symptoms which can frequently appear similar to other illnesses, for example: –
– frequent headaches
– instability
– fatigue
– billiousness

The similarity to other illnesses presents a problem and can lead to delay in taking the appropriate action. If you have any gas appliances, such as a fire or boiler, it is best to act quickly and avoid risk. Open the windows and ensure everyone goes outside then switch off the appliance and guess an expert opinion from a “gas safe registered” engineer. If you notice symptoms such as these when you have gas appliances in the home, stop using the appliance without delay, increase ventilation to the rooms, take any inhabitants outside and ensure that your gas appliances are inspected by a CORGI registered gas engineer.

When I buy a detector what should I look for?

Preferred CO detectors should contain an audible alarm and be have British Standards certification. When selecting a carbon monoxide detector ensure that you have one which has a long battery life, say five years, and a shrill easily heard a lot. There are some paper based detectors which are impregnated with chemicals that they act upon contact with the gas. A battery-powered model is better as the alarm is audible rather than requiring you to look at the paper to see a change in colour.  Chemical detectors have 6 month lifetimes and they need to be replaced often increasing the real cost of these devices. Most importantly the lack of an audible alarm means that this type of detector will not wake you is there is an excess of carbon monoxide produced when you are asleep at night. Both types of alarms are now commonly available in DIY stores.

Are you able to purchase carbon monoxide detectors?

Carbon monoxide detectors can be effective in preventing incidences of carbon monoxide poisoning. In recent years there are several types of detectors becoming available for purchase on the high street. Carbon monoxide detectors trigger an alarm based on a buildup of the gas over a period of time. Smoke detectors have been around for a long time and carbon monoxide detectors are now becoming as reliable as these trusted devices.  Your best protection against exposure to carbon monoxide is the regular servicing of your gas burning appliances. A CO detector will only ever be a backup measure.

How to fit a carbon monoxide detector

Carbon monoxide kills through the ongoing absorption of the gas and the gradual reduction of the body’s ability to absorb oxygen. Fitting carbon monoxide detectors can give your family early warning of rising CO levels so that they can escape to fresh air. Carbon monoxide detectors will raise the alarm early, at co ncentrationsof the gas lower than before a typical, healthy adult would display symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. Whilst smoke detectors should be installed high on the wall or near the ceiling a carbon monoxide detector can be installed lower down. Carbon Monoxide alarms should be positioned so that all the inhabitants of the house can hear it from their bedroom when asleep, you need the alarm to wake you up quickly should it be triggered in the middle of the night.

Carbon Monoxide is one of the most poisonous gases and it is undetectable with no smell or taste. Restricted gas boiler ventilation can lead to its production. Carbon Dioxide is the normal output from a boiler but this can be replaced by Carbon Monoxide with reduced ventilation or a blocked flue.

Tragically there are 30 carbon monoxide poisoning deaths every year and many more injuries although this could be worse without the implementation of ventilation guidelines and adoption of regular boiler servicing.

What will I see if I have a carbon monoxide issue in my home?

Carbon Dioxide production is often a result of incomplete combustion and this can be seen as the deposit of soot discolouring surfaces near your gas appliances. Another way to check for gas burning problems is to inspect pilot lights and see whether they are burning with a yellow or other colour flame rather than the blue light of a well maintained system. Get an urgent boiler service if he pilot light start to do with a yellow colour.

What should I do to protect myself and my family from carbon monoxide poisoning ?

Carbon monoxide is a direct result of poor ventilation. Gas boiler combustion issues can be reduced by adopting an annual boiler service regime.

Gas boiler servicing is a standard service by heating engineers and central heating plumbers, you can check that they are properly trained by looking for the “gas safe” insignia. 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.

You should also keep air vents in doors, walls or windows clear – never cover them up to prevent draughts. On several occasions ventilation reviews have discovered air vents which have been blocked by fast growing plants and you should look for this throughout the growing season. The chimney is an important source of ventilation for a gas fire. You need to make sure that no debris or strain birds nest has blocked this. Checking the chimney is free of obstructions, particularly by using a visual inspection of the outside, is easier in summer.

Are there any warning signs of the presence of carbon monoxide?

Carbon monoxide can be a silent killer so do not delay in anyway if you see any warning signs. It is better to act quickly if you spot any symptoms as prevarication could lead to a death.

Take action today and ensure you are able to take action tomorrow. Anyone in your house can fall prey to carbon monoxide regardless of how old they are. It is common for pets be be harmed in the same way as humans. Many times Carbon Monoxide poisoning results in typical influenza like symptoms such as: –

persistent headaches
balance problems
fatigue
sickness

Your gas appliances must be properly checked by a gas safe certified gas boiler engineer if you see anyone in your home with similar symptoms. Open windows and improve air flow while you wait and ensure that no one stays in the house until the all clear has been given.

Can I buy a detector for carbon monoxide?

Good quality carbon monoxide detectors have a loud alarm and are certified to British Standards. These typically have batteries which will last for up to five years and have a loud alarm which goes off when carbon monoxide is detected giving you time to evacuate the room. 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. Colour change detectors do not have a loud, noisy alarm and cannot alert you the moment there is a problem. Also they only last for 6 months and the lower price can be a false economy. The ability to wake you from your sleep at night is an important advantage that battery detectors have over the more passive chemical detectors.

Leaving no smell and having no taste Carbon Monoxide is very dangerous and toxic. Conventional gas appliances when operating correctly produce as a normal by product harmless gases but if your appliance for some reason has lowered the required levels of oxygen the ongoing combustion may develop Carbon Monoxide gas. Properly balanced ventilation will result in Carbon Dioxide output, Carbon Monoxide will result if the level of oxygen is restricted with reduced airflow or a blocked flue.

Regrettably there are a number of deaths every year directly attributable to poisoning from carbon monoxide, there are a much larger number of illnesses associated with this gas. It is sad to note that the majority of these could be avoided if homeowners ensured that their boiler installations were consistent with the latest ventilation guidelines and that their gas boiler or household appliances were regularly serviced by a properly qualified plumber.

Can a visual review of a gas appliance indicate there is a problem?

Carbon Dioxide is treated when there is a problem with the amount of the right type of air – oxygen –in the boiler , combustion chamber. The first sign of this problem will be the depositing of soot on the gas appliance. Another way of quickly checking whether there is a problem with how the gas is being burned is to take a peek at your pilot light. A blue flame is shown with normal operation and this can have a yellow discolouration if there is oxygen deprivation. Treat the pilot light like a traffic light, if it turns yellow this is a warning and you should arrange for the boiler to be serviced as quickly as you can.

Tell me how to cut down the risks of Carbon Monoxide related illness.

The simple guideline is that if you have a deficit of oxygen you will get an excess of carbon monoxide. On the assumption that there are no design faults in the ventilation of your boiler, frequent boiler and gas appliance servicing will help to avoid any problems which could ultimately result in the production of carbon monoxide.

To ensure that you get expert appliance service you should check that the engineer is CORGI-registered. Fitting a carbon monoxide detector in your home and one that has an audible alarm is also a great step to provide early indications to the whole family of dangerous carbon monoxide production.

Every gas appliance has a recommended ventilation requirement and, as a minimum, annual inspections should be carried out to ensure that this stipulation is being respected. Gas appliances and boilers may not be used in the summer months but air vents can become obstructed at this time through the growth of plants and vegetation in the garden, this is a potential problem which you should keep in mind. There have been cases where a simple birds nest can cause a problem with chimney ventilation and sometimes a house owner may not spot this if the gas fire is not being operated in the summer. There is a need for ongoing vigilance and your home maintenance schedule should occasionally include a visual inspection of the efficacy of the chimney.

What should I look for as early signs of poisoning from carbon monoxide?

If you suspect there is carbon monoxide in your home you should err on the side of caution. Do not read this or other articles and form your own judgement.

Seek help without delay. Even though you may be young and have good health none of this will be a guaranteed protection against carbon monoxide poisoning. Pets, large and small, are also potential victims. Carbon Monoxide poisoning exhibits symptoms which can appear like other illnesses, for example: –

persistent headaches
dizziness
loss of energy
nausea

If you notice symptoms such as these when you have gas appliances in the home, stop using the appliance without delay, increase ventilation to the rooms, take any inhabitants outside and ensure that your gas appliances are inspected by a properly qualified gas engineer.

Are carbon monoxide detectors freely available?

Carbon monoxide detectors should have a very loud alarm and be certified to British Standards. Such alarms have long lasting batteries (5 years) and the alarm is triggered when abnormal levels of carbon monoxide are detected enabling people to escape the area. You may have seen some paper based models in the shops. These use a chemical reaction to show a different colour when there is carbon monoxide present. Many people feel that the electronic detectors offer a better protection and the noisy alarm is a definite bonus. With a colour change detector you may forget to replace the detector when it has expired after 6 months creating a risk. Also the lack of an alarm means that you may not be made aware of a problem in the critical early hours. The risks to you increase when you are asleep at night as common monoxide could be building up in your body and you would not is feel any of these symptoms. A battery operated alarm will make a very loud noise to which you from your sleep and review early warning of these issues.

Carbon Monoxide detectors are now readily available in the high street being stocked by many types of stores.