Carbon Monoxide Safety
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colourless, odourless, tasteless, poisonous gas produced by incomplete burning of carbon-based fuels. When CO enters the body, it prevents the blood from bringing oxygen to cells, tissues, and organs.
Carbon monoxide can be produced by any combustion appliance, including those that burn fossil fuels e.g. oil, wood and coal. If you have one of these appliances you should make sure that it is serviced and maintained by a competent person and the chimney is regularly swept.
Carbon monoxide detectors are available and should be installed in every room that contains a fuel burning appliance.
They should be installed at a horizontal distance of between 1 and 3m from a potential source of carbon monoxide, it should be at the highest point of the ceiling and at least 30cm from any obstruction.
It is vital to check your alarms once a week – anything less increases the risk of living with a faulty alarm for too long.
If your Carbon Monoxide alarm goes off without warning, always check there is no danger of smoke or fire before silencing the alarm.
If you feel your appliance is spilling Carbon monoxide
- Call the National Gas Emergency Service on 0800 111 999
- Switch off the appliance and shut off the gas supply at the meter control valve
- Open all doors and windows to ventilate the room
- Visit your GP and tell him/her that you believe you may have been exposed to carbon monoxide