A lot of homes are now fitted with central heating and are so well insulated that open fires are only lit on special occasions to create a cosy ambience. For many, Christmas may be the only time they light their fire. Having open fires that are not regularly maintained could put your life at risk.
It is essential that before the festive season begins you ensure that your chimneys have been swept. This ensures that the coal and wood smoke will be expelled properly and will significantly reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. It is also strongly recommended that you have a co alarm in every room where there is a solid fuel burning appliance; this can include kitchens with gas ovens, boiler rooms or living areas with gas or solid fuel fires.
The symptoms of co poisoning are very similar to that of flu and are therefore often overlooked. One major difference is that the symptoms, including headache, lethargy and nausea, improve when you go outside. Should you suffer from any symptoms related to carbon monoxide poisoning, do not hesitate to contact your doctor. For more information about the signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning or to find out more on how to protect yourself, the Carbon Monoxide Info website is full of relevant information.
The tragic death of Trevor Wallwork and his two children, Kim aged 12 and Harry aged 9 is thought to have been due to carbon monoxide poisoning.
The three were found dead in the living room of their home in Co Silgo on December 18. It is thought that a crisp packet that had been put on the open fire was sucked up and blocked the chimney causing the deadly gas to seep into the room.
Their sad deaths highlight how dangerous carbon monoxide is. It is unthinkable that an innocent act of putting a crisp packet on an open fire could have such devastating consequences. If you are unsure what the signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are or would like to find out more here is some information for you.
What is Carbon Monoxide?
Carbon Monoxide (chemical symbol: CO) is a colourless, odourless, tasteless and toxic gas created by the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels (gas, oil, coal and wood), as used in our everyday appliances such as heaters, engines and boilers.
The symptoms of mild Carbon Monoxide poisoning are similar to those of viral cold infections: headache, nausea, dizziness, sore throat and dry cough.
More severe poisoning can result in a fast and irregular heart rate, over-breathing (hyperventilation), confusion, drowsiness and difficulty breathing. Ultimately it leads to coma and death.
How to protect yourself and your family
- Make sure rooms and heaters are well ventilated.
- Have your chimneys and flues checked regularly.
- Make sure boilers and heaters are maintained and serviced regularly.
- A Carbon Monoxide Detector will measure the concentration of Carbon Monoxide in a room and sound an alarm if the CO concentration is higher than permitted (as indicated below)
Here is the full report http://www.independent.ie/national-news/tragic-victims-of-carbon-monoxide-poisoning-returned-to-uk-2981516.html