Carbon Monoxide is known as the silent killer. This sneaky, toxic gas finds its way into your home through a wide range of seemingly harmless sources, it’s difficult to detect and treat once the damage is done. Even in small doses carbon monoxide can be harmful and may even cause permanent damage if not caught quickly, and heavy exposure can be lethal in the worst cases.
So what actually is this silent killer? The Gas Safe Register provides an easy to understand explanation. CO is produced by the incomplete burning of natural gas or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). This happens when a gas appliance has been incorrectly fitted, badly repaired or poorly maintained. It can also occur if flues, chimneys or vents are blocked. Oil and solid fuels such as coal, wood, petrol and oil can also produce carbon monoxide.CO poisoning occurs when you breathe in the gas and it replaces oxygen in your bloodstream. Without oxygen, your body tissue and cells die. Even small amounts of the gas can cause CO poisoning, and long term effects can include paralysis and brain damage.
Symptoms are similar to those of flu, food poisoning, viral infections and fatigue. That’s why it’s quite common for people to mistake this very dangerous poisoning for something else. The six main symptoms to look out for are as follows, being aware of these symptoms could save your life:
- loss of consciousness
Other signs that could point to CO poisoning:
- Your symptoms only occur when you are at home and seem to disappear when you leave home.
- Others in your household (including pets) are experiencing similar symptoms and they appear at a similar time.
What to do if you suspect CO poisoning:
- Get fresh air immediately. Open doors and windows, turn off gas appliances and leave the house.
- See your doctor immediately or go to hospital – let them know that you suspect CO poisoning. They can do a blood or breath test to check.
- If you think there is an immediate danger, call the Gas Emergency Helpline on 0800 111 999.
Remember Carbon Monoxide can kill. If you’re concerned at all, get in touch today and arrange a time for us to visit your home and ensure that this silent killer doesn’t enter you living space.