Carbon Monoxide: The Silent Killer

Too many people are still dying or becoming seriously ill from carbon monoxide poisoning. But these incidents could easily be prevented if people had greater awareness of the dangers of the gas, had their appliances serviced regularly and fitted an audible carbon monoxide alarm. Carbon monoxide, even at low levels, can cause serious harm to health if inhaled over a long period. In extreme cases carbon monoxide poisoning can lead to death, paralysis and brain damage.There are around 30 confirmed deaths each year from carbon monoxide poisoning but unfortunately it is believed the real number is much higher as symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning (including headaches, nausea and tiredness) are often confused with flu and other illnesses. A more realistic assessment of the scale of the problem is revealed by the results of a YouGov survey of 4,332 adults, in September 2008, which found that nearly "one person in thirty surveyed believed that they had suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning".

The Results

The results also showed that only half of people asked checked all their fuel-burning appliances annually by a registered and qualified engineer who is familiar with such appliances. These results on a national scale suggest that "some 12 million households are at risk because of this".It is feared that due to the current economic climate people may choose to scrimp on their boiler maintenance and therefore increase their and their family's chances of falling victim to carbon monoxide poisoning.Ahead of and during Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week beginning on the 16th November a Northern gas company, LPG Homeheat, wants to raise awareness of the potentially fatal outcomes that can occur by not following or being aware of the correct boiler safety practices.LPG Homeheat is a family company that supplies LPG to homes across the North of England. They offer customers a subsidised boiler servicing scheme that incorporates carbon monoxide checks as part of their service. The process is completed by highly qualified CORGI registered engineers.Carbon MonoxideLPG is one of the cleanest burning fuels on the market. It leaves virtually no soot and very few sulphur emissions. There have been very few known cases of carbon monoxide poisoning from domestic LPG usage compared to other forms of fuel.

Detect and Protect

Howard Illingworth, Managing Director of the Company, said: "We are a family company and we care about our customers. We offer the subsidised boiler servicing scheme to help ensure that the people we look after are safe. As part of this service we ensure that full carbon monoxide checks are made when carrying out our boiler services."We will ensure all aspects of the boiler are serviced with the minimum of disruption to our customers."Carbon monoxide poisoning can pose a very serious threat to you and your family's safety. However, it is very easy to prevent tragedy occurring. Make sure you have an audible carbon monoxide alarm fitted in your home and do make sure that it is certified to the European Standard."According to LPG Homeheat you are at risk from carbon monoxide poisoning if...
  • An appliance was poorly installed
  • Your appliance is not working properly
  • An appliance has not been checked for safety or maintained regularly
  • There is not enough fresh air in the room
  • Your chimney or flue gets blocked up
  • You allow non-Gas Safe Registered engineers to install or maintain your appliance(s). (Gas Safe Register replaced CORGI as the register of qualified gas installers in April 2009).
Being aware of these important facts and steps can ensure that you and your family have a safe and warm winter.