What You Must Know about Carbon Monoxide

What You Must Know about Carbon Monoxide
by Tal Potishman

Your family is at risk for carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning if there are any appliances in your home that use gas, oil, coal or wood. Because carbon monoxide does not have any color, smell, or taste, it is not easy to determine when it is present. Carbon-based fuels are typically safe to use, but they become a health hazard when they do not burn properly.

When carbon monoxide is breathed into the body, it combines with the haemoglobin in the blood. Haemoglobin is the part of the red blood cells that carries oxygen to all parts of the body. When carbon monoxide is mixed with haemoglobin, the bodys cells, tissues, and organs cannot receive oxygen, and they begin to die. Over time, even small amounts of carbon monoxide in the blood over time can be fatal or cause paralysis and brain damage.

Someone with carbon monoxide poisoning may incorrectly diagnose the symptoms as being caused by another ailment. The symptoms of CO poisoning are very similar to common illnesses, such as viral infections, the flu, food poisoning, and fatigue: nausea, vomiting, headaches, tiredness, and stomach pains. Other symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include problems with vision, trouble breathing, erratic behaviour, and chest pains.

Emergency Plumbing Repair

Gas appliances and flues are two of the most common causes of carbon monoxide in the home. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reports that about twenty UK citizens die yearly as a result of CO poisoning. A gas appliance or flue that is improperly installed or poorly maintained is likely to emit carbon monoxide fumes. Any area in the home with a carbon fuel-burning apparatus needs to have excellent ventilation in order to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Knowledge of carbon monoxoide poisoning is essential to protect your family. If you use a carbon-based fuel in one or more of your home appliances, there is a chance you could become a victim of CO poisoning. Make sure your entire family understands the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning and how dangerous it can be. One precaution you can take is to install a carbon monoxide alarm. The alarm must be installed according to the manufacturers instructions, comply with British Standard EN 50291, and carry the British or European approval mark. Alarms with audible warning signals will ensure your family will be protected from CO poisoning even while they sleep.

A CORGI-registered professional should install any gas appliance or flue in your home. You can trust an installer with CORGI credentials to install appliances and flues properly and safely. Make an appointment with your CORGI-registered installer for a preventive maintenance check every year to ensure your appliances are operating as they should be and to make any necessary repairs needed to keep your family safe from carbon monoxide. Hire a qualified chimney sweep to clear out flues every year.

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