According to the Department of Health, each year in England and Wales, there are approximately 50 accidental deaths, 200 non-fatal poisonings that require hospital admission and 4,000 visits to accident and emergency that result from CO poisoning.
Those most at risk in our communities are children and older people.
Often called the invisible killer, Carbon monoxide symptoms are similar to flu, food poisoning, viral infections and simply tiredness. That's why it's quite common for people to mistake this very dangerous poisoning for something else.
If you are a Registered Social Landlord, since 1st October 2015, regulations making it compulsory for all landlords to not only fit smoke alarms in rented homes, but also Carbon Monoxide alarms too, so it is essential to be aware of the change and ensure you are fitting the alarms in your properties.
Carbon monoxide alarms must be fitted in properties with solid fuel fires or boilers.
Tips on reducing the risk of CO poisoning
For gas appliances, use a Gas Safe registered engineer for installation and annual services.
Always check the engineer's qualification, these should listed on the back of their identity card.
If you live in rented property, ask your landlord to show you the property's gas safety record.
Consult your fuel supplier or professional heating engineer for the regular servicing of other fuel-burning appliances.
Rooms should be well ventilated and chimneys or flues swept regularly
Fit an audible CO alarm, but remember this should be in addition to the other actions.
Other signs of CO poisoning, can include:
1) Prolonged flu-like symptoms; (If other members of the household (including pets) are suffering similar symptoms this may provide further indication that it is CO poisoning)
2) Gas appliances burning with orange, instead of blue, flames
3) Sooty stains on or near appliances
4) Excessive condensation in the room; and coal or wood fires that burn slowly or go out.
The six main symptoms to look out for:
6.Loss of consciousness
Being aware of the symptoms could save your life.