A recent survey by npower has revealed that only one in 20 parents know the symptoms of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning and the more than a third of UK homes aren’t fitted with a CO alarm. In order to raise awareness following Carbon Monoxide week (21-25 November), we’ve put together five ways in which you can protect you and your family from the dangers of CO poisoning:
1. Know the most common symptoms
Only 6% of people in the UK can spot the most common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, which means that possible cases can be missed. Dizziness, headaches, nausea and vomiting, tiredness and confusion, stomach pain, shortness of breath and difficulty breathing are all symptoms of CO poisoning. If you notice any of these, make sure to seek medical help.
2. Fit CO alarms in your home
The only way to detect a CO leak is with a CO alarm, it’s a simple and relatively cheap way to make sure you’re protecting your family from potential CO leaks.
3. Get your appliances serviced regularly by registered engineers
Whether you’re getting new appliances fitted or you’ve had them for a while, regular services by registered engineers are necessary to ensure that everything is working correctly and any malfunctions that could cause CO leaks are picked up.
4. Make sure your kitchen is fitted with an extractor fan and do not block air vents
It’s really important to make sure all your rooms are properly ventilated, if you have air vents in any of your rooms make sure that items of furniture are not covering them.
5. Ensure your chimneys and flues are swept regularly by qualified sweeps
Blocked flues and chimneys mean that carbon monoxide can’t escape, it’s a good idea to schedule in inspections once a year to make sure they are working correctly.