Carbon Monoxide poisoning in the home

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a gas. It has no smell, taste or colour and it kills dozens of people in their homes every year. Many more suffer debilitating illnesses often without anybody realising that they are being poisoned. CO gas is produced by solid fuel, oil and gas fired heating appliances such as fires, boilers and water heaters. Any appliance which burns solid fuel, gas or oil and which does not have a balanced flue, so that it is sealed off from the room, is capable of poisoning you if it is not properly installed, maintained and serviced.

The symptoms of Carbon Monoxide poisoning include:

  • a headache - this is the most common symptom
  • feeling sick and dizzy
  • feeling tired and confused
  • being sick and having stomach pain
  • shortness of breath and difficulty breathing

If you think you have Carbon Monoxide poisoning, you should:

  • switch off all your gas appliances and don't use them again until the problem has been fixed
  • shut off the gas supply at the meter control valve - if gas continues to escape call the National Gas Emergency number on 0800 111 999
  • open the windows and doors to ventilate the room
  • if you are feeling ill, seek medical advice at once.

How to prevent Carbon Monoxide poisoning

  • have all solid fuel, gas and oil burning appliances serviced every year
  • make sure there is enough fresh air in the room containing your gas appliance
  • get your chimney swept at least once a year by a qualified sweep
  • fit Carbon Monoxide alarms to your property and regularly test these

Private Sector Tenants

Since 1 October 2015, it has been a legal requirement for private landlords to install a carbon monoxide alarm in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance and to ensure the alarms are in working order at the start of each tenancy.

Smoke and CO Regulations

Further information

For further advice or information contact your doctor, the contractor who maintains your appliances or the Private Sector Housing Team at Waverley using the contact details below:

Private Sector Housing Team
Waverley Borough Council
The Burys

Tel: 01483 523372

Please note that phone calls may be recorded for training or monitoring purposes.

Page owner: Paula Mackenzie. Last updated: 02/07/2020 08:31

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