This week is Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week (21st – 25th November) following an official launch yesterday at the House of Lords.
In the UK, only a third of us have a carbon monoxide alarm and two thirds don’t get our fuel appliances eg boilers, gas cookers and fires checked regularly. Campaigners are trying to increase awareness of this deadly gas, which is colourless and odourless but highly toxic, and help people reduce the risks.
Carbon monoxide alarms cost as little as £12 and are simple to install as they do not have to be wired into the mains. It is a quick DIY job but could save your or your family’s life.
So as well as fitting an audible alarm and having gas appliances checked annually, what can you do?
- have chimneys swept regularly to remove any blockages
- fit an extractor fan in the kitchen
- don’t leave any cars or petrol lawn mowers running in the garage
- don’t burn charcoal in an enclosed area
If you suspect a carbon monoxide leak you should
- move well away from the suspected source
- open all windows and doors
- stop using any cooking and heating appliances (other than electric)
and if you supect CO poisoning, you should seek medical attention immediately. It kills over 50 people a year in the UK and many more are hospitalised. There is more information on our Staying Safe from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning project page.