CO Advice

Carbon Monoxide Safety

Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas which is produced when a fuel burns inefficiently. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a toxic gas that cannot be smelled, tasted or seen. A by-product of incomplete combustion, CO can be produced in the home when fuel-burning appliances (such as boilers, gas fires and cookers) develop a fault, or are poorly maintained.

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What is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon monoxide gas is a silent killer; who won’t think twice before taking the lives of those you love. Every year in the UK, over 200 people are hospitalised with suspected carbon monoxide poisoning, which leads to around 50 deaths. It is a highly poisonous gas that has no colour, taste or smell. It is invisible to the human senses.

Carbon monoxide is produced when a fuel is not burnt properly. The most common sources are faulty boilers, gas fires and cookers.

Who are most at risk?

Nobody is safe from Carbon Monoxide (CO). Due to the invisible and sense-less characteristics CO has CO can affect all ages, however elderly adults, pregnant woman, young children and people with respiratory problems are at higher risk of CO poisoning.

Carbon Monoxide Safety in the Home

Fuel-burning appliances are the most common carbon monoxide sources and should regularly be checked by registered engineers and faulty appliances should be replaced. Ideally, Carbon Monoxide alarms should be installed in every room containing a fuel-burning appliance and in each bedroom. CO alarms should also be installed in any room through which a flue passes, even if the flue is fully enclosed or concealed.

Carbon Monoxide Safety in Caravans, Tents and Boats

Caravans and boats may have additional risks of carbon monoxide admission through air vents, due to the nearby presence of other vehicles, engines, generators or barbecues. Because of this, caravans and boats should be fitted with an alarm in the same room as any combustion appliance. Camping is also a potential risk due to camp fires and barbecues.

Carbon Monoxide Safety While on Holiday

Most battery powered CO alarms are portable which makes them ideal for taking on holiday. In hotels, guests are often unaware that they are sleeping next to boiler rooms or above a room with a fireplace; if you’re camping, CO can enter your tent from a smouldering BBQ outside; plan to take a CO alarm to any future holiday destinations to ensure you are safe.