Carbon monoxide (CO) is a highly poisonous gas that is difficult to detect; it is colourless, odourless and tasteless and can cause serious health problems and even death. CO is a result of the incomplete burning of natural gas, LPG and other materials that contain carbon including wood, coal, gasoline and propane.

CO happens when gas appliances have been incorrectly installed, poorly maintained or badly repaired. Household appliances such as cookers, boilers and heater are the most common causes of accidental exposure to CO however; blocked chimneys, flues or vents – even though they are not the direct source – can stop CO escaping which can result in high levels of the poisonous gas in the air.

The symtoms of CO poisoning are not always obvious especially when exposed to low levels. There are six main symptoms to watch out for:

1. Headaches

2. Dizziness

3. Nausea/vomiting/stomach pain

4. Breathlessness

5. Collapse

6. Loss of consciousness

The initial symptoms are not dissimilar to those of food poisoning or flu however; CO poisoning does not cause a temperature and symptoms will be less severe or may even disappear when away from the source of the CO leak. Other family members will have similar symtoms that started around the same time and this applies to pets too.

If you suspect a CO leak then get some fresh air immediately: open all windows and doors, turn off the gas, leave the building and seek medical advice. Request a visit from your Gas Safe registered engineer to inspect your gas appliances, chimneys and flues to identify any dangers.

If you think it is an emergency, call the Gas Emergency Helpline on 0800 111 999.

There are on average 25 deaths a year from accidental CO poisoning in England and Wales.

Installing a carbon monoxide alarms will alert you of leak and can be bought from all good hardware shops however; a CO detecter is not a substitute for the maintenance and regular servicing of your appliances.

If you require any gas safety checks or would like your range cooker servicing then please contact us. We service and repair all ranges including Britannia, Ilve, Rangemaster, Mercury, Falcon, Lacanche and Bertazzoni.