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Last Updated: Monday, 2 April 2007, 13:09 GMT 14:09 UK
The dangers of Carbon Monoxide
Carbon monoxide sensor
Carbon monoxide is a silent killer
Carbon Monoxide poisoning is a risk with any gas solid fuel fires.

Odourless, invisible and deadly, it is produced by a faulty appliance or if the flue is blocked.

If inhaled, it can kill within minutes. The early symptoms can be wooziness, nausea and a feeling of disorientation. These clear quickly once the affected person affected is out of the environment, so the diagnosis can be missed.

Before going on holiday check if there

are gas appliances where you are staying.

You can ask to be moved if there is a gas water heater at your destination and also ask to see the latest safety inspection documentation.

And you might also consider taking a carbon monoxide detector - even a black spot detector is better than nothing although British Gas and CORGI do not approve these and say an audible detector is better.

But remember to check it regularly.

Safety tips - source: HSE
Any work carried out on domestic gas appliances should be done by a CORGI-registered installer
Gas appliances and/or flues should be serviced regularly by a CORGI-registered installer
Landlords have a legal duty to carry out an annual gas safety check and maintain gas appliances
Tenants must receive a completed gas safety check certificate
Always ensure there is enough fresh air in the room with a gas appliance, clear your flue and make sure vents are not blocked

The Health and Safety Executive also strongly recommends the use of audible carbon monoxide detectors as a useful back-up but they must not be regarded as a substitute for proper installation and maintenance of gas appliances by a CORGI-registered installer.

Before purchasing a CO alarm, always ensure it complies with British Standard EN 50291 and carries a British or European approval mark, such as a Kitemark.

CO detectors should be installed, checked and serviced in line with the manufacturer's instructions.

You can be particularly at risk from CO poisoning when you are asleep, because you may not be aware of early CO symptoms until it is too late.

Having an audible CO detector could wake you and save your life, however the most important action you can take is having regular safety checks by a qualified engineer.

Local rep checked death bungalow
02 Apr 07 |  Panorama

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