CO Awareness Week 2012 19th – 25th November

2012 has seen many deaths being reported in the media due to carbon monoxide poisoning. Some of the victims were campers, who were unaware of the dangers of taking a smouldering BBQ into their tents to keep warm, others were through faulty solid fuel appliances. All these tragic incidents are a sombre reminder that we should all be working hard to increase the awareness of carbon monoxide poisoning.

CO awareness week, November 19th to 25th, is about spreading information in the hope that lives can be saved. We all can take steps during this week to reduce the risk of CO poisoning. Ensure that, if you have not already done so, any solid fuel appliance are serviced or cleaned. This includes wood burning stoves, as well as open fires. Many people believe that carbon monoxide is restricted to gas appliances, but any appliance that burns gas, wood, oil or coal could give off carbon monoxide.

Carbon monoxide does not have any smell, taste or colour and as such is not detectable without a carbon monoxide alarm. The symptoms, which are very similar to flu, can go undiagnosed. Prolonged exposure to low levels of carbon monoxide can have devastating long term effects on your health. If the levels of CO are higher the result can lead to unconsciousness in a very short period of time. This can result in death if the person is not discovered in time.

Be pro-active, if you do not own a carbon monoxide alarm, buy one during this awareness week. They cost as little as £12.99 ex VAT and are either battery operated or mains powered. You should have one alarm in each room where a solid fuel appliance is situated. If you have a tight budget, why not ask for one as a present for Christmas or buy someone an alarm as their present, they will probably appreciate it more than another pair of socks!

If you feel that you do not know enough about carbon monoxide poisoning and would like to know more, Carbon Monoxide Information is a website dedicated to providing people with  information and news about CO poisoning. Take a few minutes to have a look for yourself.

Lastly, we would like to ask you to help us spread the word about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning. If we all talk to one friend or family member and ask them if they are aware about the effects of carbon monoxide, we could all be saving a life. Lets stamp out this silent killer together.


Gas Safety Week 10th – 16th September 2012

Gas Safety Week, co-ordinated by the Gas Safe Register, is a week-long event during which companies and organisations working within the industry promote gas safety.

Carbon monoxide, a poisonous gas produced by the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, including natural gas, causes thousands of people every year to fall ill. It can be produced by faulty boilers, gas fires and cookers and, in the worst case, cause death by carbon monoxide poisoning.

As summer begins to fade and autumn takes its place, we start to switch on the central heating or light our fires. It is a good time of year to ensure that appliances are serviced and that chimneys and flues are swept. Carbon monoxide can be produced by an open coal or wood fire if the chimney is not drawing the smoke out of the room efficiently.

As symptoms for carbon monoxide poisoning are very similar to those of flu, it is possible for the presence of this gas to go undetected. If you have headaches and/or feelings of nausea and drowsiness, it may be due to the inhalation of carbon monoxide fumes. One of the simplest ways to protect yourself and your family is to install a carbon monoxide alarm in each room where there is a fossil fuel burning appliance. Carbon monoxide alarms sell for as little as £12.99 ex VAT . They will be triggered by the presence of carbon monoxide above 50ppm (parts per million) in the atmosphere.

On hearing your carbon monoxide alarm sound, you should open all windows and turn off the appliances that use fossil fuel. If the appliance is a gas burning device, contact the gas board and inform them of the situation. They will be able to confirm if there is carbon monoxide present and advise you on what to do next. If you were using an open fire at the point of alarm, ensure that you have swept the chimney  before relighting it; if the alarm goes off again, you may need to contact your local builder to ensure that there are no problems with the integrity of your chimney.

Visit for useful information on this gas, including real-life accounts of people’s experiences of it. To help prevent tragic deaths due to carbon monoxide poisoning, please spread the message this week to family and friends; and, if you have elderly neighbours, check that they are looking after their appliances and suggest that they install carbon monoxide alarms, too.