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.