Carbon Monoxide Poisoning; the Silent Killer

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning; the Silent Killer

OFTEC, The trade body for the oil-fired heating industry has recently stressed the importance of boiler maintenance before the winter months set in, to avoid the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning. The winter period is when most poisoning incidents occur.

Carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms

Anyone can be affected by carbon monoxide poisoning, with symptoms including, dizziness and tiredness and headaches. This can make it difficult to differentiate from flu symptoms.The poisonous gas can cause long term damage to your health and has the potential to kill very quickly. Approximately 40 people a year die from carbon monoxide poisoning and thousands are hospitalized from this preventable hazard.

Preventing carbon monoxide poisoning

Think ‘IAM’
  • Installation – all gas appliances should be fitted by a Gas Safe Registered engineer.
  • Alarm – an alarm should be present near any fuel burning appliance around your home or business.
  • Maintenance – like any mechanical object, regular servicing and essential maintenance should be carried out regularly.

What to do if you suspect a carbon monoxide leak

If you suspect that there is a carbon monoxide leak in your premises:
  • Open all of the windows
  • Turn off heating and cooking appliances
  • Call the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Gas Safety Advice Line on 0800 300 363 for (Freephone) advice services.
Carbon monoxide will be treated at hospital with oxygen. High levels of carbon monoxide in the blood may cause lasting damage to the brain or heart.