You can’t see it, taste it or smell it but it can kill quickly and with no warning.
What is carbon monoxide poisoning?
Carbon monoxide poisoning occurs when you breathe in even small amounts of the gas.
When you breathe in carbon monoxide, it gets into your blood stream and prevents your red blood cells from carrying oxygen. Without oxygen, your body tissue and cells die.
Levels that do not kill can cause serious harm to health when breathed in over a long period of time. Long term effects of carbon monoxide poisoning include Paralysis and brain damage. Such long term effects occur because many people are unaware of unsafe gas appliances and subsequent gas leaks.
If you have a faulty appliance in your home, it could lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.
Being aware of the symptoms could save your life
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.
Other signs that could point to carbon monoxide poisoning:
- Your symptoms only occur when you are at home
- Your symptoms disappear or get better when you leave home and come back when you return
- Others in your household are experiencing symptoms (including your pets) and they appear at a similar time
Remember the six main symptoms to look out for
- loss of consciousness
What should I do if I experience any symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning?
- Get fresh air immediately. Open doors and windows, turn off gas appliances and leave the house
- See your doctor immediately or go to hospital – let them know that you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning. They can do a blood or breath test to check
- Get a Gas Safe registered engineer to inspect your gas appliances and flues to see if there is a dangerous problem
Remember to get your boiler checked annually to avoid the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.