We all know that it is getting colder and that means for many of us that we are turning our boilers on after they have been switched off for many months. Luckily for me I have been contacted by CORGI Homeplan who are going to send me a Carbon Monoxide monitor for my house but they are also campaigning to get everyone to have one installed.
Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless and tasteless gas and because of that it is very difficult to detect and you may be breathing it without realising. According to NHS statistics, every year in the UK, over 200 people go to hospital with suspected carbon monoxide poisoning, and around 40 people die.
The most common cause of a carbon monoxide leak is from incorrect installation or poor maintenance of household appliances including cookers, heaters and central heating boilers. However blocked flues or chimneys can also cause high carbon monoxide levels.
There are several signs that you can look out for at home that could show that there is an issue with Carbon Monoxide.
- The flame on your cooker should be crisp and blue. Yellow or orange flames mean you need to get your cooker checked
- Dark staining around or on appliances
- Sooty marks on the walls around boilers, stoves or the cover of gas fires
- Pilot lights that frequently go out
- Increased condensation inside windows
It is also a good idea to be aware of the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning as these could save your life. Here are the main six symptoms to look out for:
- Loss of consciousness
These symptoms are very easy to mistake for flu or tiredness but if your symptoms only happen at home and not when you are out then this may show you have a carbon monoxide leak.
You can pick up carbon monoxide indicators for around £10 although if you struggle with this you can get a pack of two carbon monoxide spot detectors for just a few pounds and anything really is better than nothing.