Carbon Monoxide

Carbon Monoxide (or CO) is a colourless, odourless, tasteless gas which is highly toxic to humans and animals and can cause long term health issues such as brain damage, or even death.


What is Carbon Monoxide?

No matter what type of appliance you have, or what fuel it runs off, Carbon Monoxide exposure is a serious threat to health and life. Carbon Monoxide is produced by the partial oxidization of carbon which can be caused by any form of combustion where there is not enough oxygen present to form carbon dioxide. CO is found in fumes produced any time you burn fuel in cars, trucks, small engines, stoves, lanterns, grills, fireplaces, gas ranges or furnaces. CO can build up indoors and poison people and animals who breathe it in.

One of the most common causes of Carbon Monoxide poisoning in the home is from a boiler as it is a by-product of the internal combustion of boilers. The boilers’ safety precautions should make sure that there is not a build-up of toxic gas within. The PCB (printed circuit board) works in conjunction with the fan to eject the harmful gas before fresh fuel is injected into the burner. It is then vented out through the flue to reduce any risk of CO poisoning. If any of this isn’t working correctly it could result in Carbon Monoxide being released into the environment.

Therefore, it is most important that any servicing or maintenance of a boiler or heating appliance is carried out by a Registered Gas Safe Engineer to ensure that all new parts are installed correctly. Incorrect installation can result in leaks, or incomplete evacuation of the toxic gasses from the boiler.

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What are the symptoms of Carbon Monoxide poisoning?

The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, confusion and chest pain. People who are sleeping can die from CO poisoning before they know they have symptoms.

Unfortunately, many of these symptoms can be assigned to a number of other causes, so Carbon Monoxide poisoning can be undetected and undiagnosed. You should therefore check for warning signs, such as the alleviation of symptoms when you leave the house. If you suspect that you are suffering with Carbon Monoxide poisoning, please visit your Doctor or Hospital, where they can carry out  blood and breath tests to check for this.

How can I prevent CO poisoning in my home?

We would recommend everyone install a battery operated or battery back-up CO detector in your home. Check or replace the detector’s battery when you change the time on your clocks each spring and autumn. Place the detector where it will wake you up if it alarms, such as outside your bedroom.

You can purchase the Aico Battery Carbon Monoxide Alarm here.

To see the full range of Carbon Monoxide, Smoke & Fire alarms click here.

Please contact us if you need any help choosing the correct product for your requirements.

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