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carbon monoxide

How to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning (+ Detection)

Carbon monoxide poisoning is the result of exposure to excessive amounts of carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide poisoning is a disease that is perpetuated by the invasive, yet odourless, colourless and tasteless gas. Extreme exposure to carbon monoxide will cause illness and in some cases fatality.

Because of its odourless and colourless nature, the presence of carbon monoxide can be difficult to ascertain. However, the dangerous gas is present but controlled in most residences and businesses in the UK. People who inhale carbon monoxide will have difficulty inhaling oxygen. A lack of oxygen leads to serious tissue damage.

The greatest single preventive tool used to determine the presence of this subtle but dangerous gas is the CO alarm, a staple for most businesses, public buildings and homes in the UK. In the event carbon monoxide is present a premises, individuals should vacate immediately. If possible, open a door or window on the way out. Take you cellphone and call for assistance. You may need medical care, even if you do not realise it.

Risk Factors

Carbon monoxide exposure is extremely dangerous in the following situations:

Unborn Children – Pregnant women should avoid carbon monoxide at all costs. Foetal cells tend to absorb carbon monoxide more aggressively than the adult body. A slight amount of exposure to the mother can cause carbon monoxide poisoning for the unborn child.

Children – Because young children tend to take rapid, short breaths compared to an adult, a small amount of the dangerous gas can be inhaled much quicker than with an adult.

Senior Citizens –Seniors are prone to struggle with breathing and can inhale the gas to the exclusion of oxygen. The inhalation of carbon monoxide by seniors can lead to brain damage.

Signs and Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

The following symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are identified by WebMd.

Persons experiencing this symptoms should seek vacate the environment and seek immediate medical care.

Unfortunately, people who are sleeping or who are intoxicated are at high risk when carbon monoxide is present in their surrounds. These fumes inhaled over time can be fatal. This explains why CO alarms are installed in most UK residences. You may be asleep but the CO alarm will wake you if the dangerous gas is in the air.

Why Carbon Monoxide Is In The Home

Carbon monoxide is present in any devices that generate combustion fumes. Petroleum burners and gas burners are prone to emit limited amounts of carbon monoxide. Appliances like gas stoves and refrigerators have the capability of leaking carbon monoxide.
The fumes are especially dangerous when confined to an enclosed area. Good ventilation can help to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Being aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide and the conditions that make the gas highly dangerous is an important step in prevention. Learn what appliances emit CO gas and have them checked regularly. Make sure these appliances are functioning properly. If you suspect something is awry, contact a repairman immediately.

Being able to recognise the signs and symptoms of this odourless, tasteless gas is another way to be aware of the danger.

The heating systems, all boilers and cookers should also be serviced regularly and tested for efficiency. Only use reputable and registered technicians to check these sources of carbon monoxide emissions.

If technicians are working on gas installations and appliances are sure they are Gas Safe Registered. Technicians for solid fuel appliances should belong to the UK’s Equipment Testing and Approval Scheme.

Never attempt to install gas appliances yourself.

Check room and household ventilation systems. If inadequate, install more aggressive ventilation.

If the home features double glazed or draught proofed windows, make sure there is adequate ventilation and circulation to support the heating system.

Do not block air vents with furniture.

Never start or run the car in a closed garage. Open the garage door before starting.

At least once a year, check your flues. They should be swept clean annually by a qualified chimney sweep who belongs to the National Association of Chimney Sweeps (NACS) or to the Guild of Master Sweeps (GMS) or the Association of Professional and Independent Chimney Sweeps (APICS).

Never use gas-powered equipment or gas powered tools in the house or in a closed garage. Wherever you use this equipment, make sure there is sufficient ventilation.

Do not burn charcoal in an indoor barbecue pit.

Never sleep in a room that has a non-chimney gas burner or fireplace.

If your kitchen does not have a gas extractor, install one.

Be sure to install a CO alarm and check the batteries regularly. These alarms emit a high-pitched noise when carbon monoxide is present in the air.

With carbon monoxide, it is best to err on the side of caution.

For more information on Carbon Monoxide Poisoning and its prevention contact us on 0800 002 9991