Carbon Monoxide – Are You At Risk From The Silent Killer?

If there was a carbon monoxide (CO) leak in your home… would you know what to do?

 Worryingly, recent research has uncovered that a massive 43% of the UK wouldn’t know what to do, and more than a third of UK homes still don’t have a CO alarm fitted. Adding to this, only 5% of us can identify the most common symptoms of CO poisoning and two-thirds of the nation surprisingly don’t know that a log burner can be a cause of CO poisoning…

November is Carbon Monoxide Awareness Month.

carbon monoxide silent killer

Last year to get more people talking about CO, npower asked a group of children to bring the risks of CO to life by drawing what they think the deadly gas would look like if it wasn’t invisible… this year, we’d love for even more #COMonsters to be designed by children across the country.  My daughter and I were just chatting about what she thought the monster would look like.  This is her interpretation.

#COMonster

What do your children think it would look like?  It’s a great conversation starter to raise awareness of how carbon monoxide can happen and what the symptoms or being poisoned by it are.

Symptoms Of CO Poisoning

Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless tasteless gas that can be deadly.  Breathing it in can give you flu-like symptoms and, if exposed to high levels, can result in death.

The early symptoms include:

⚠️ headache ⚠️

☠ dizziness ☠

⚠️ nausea ⚠️

☠ vomiting ☠

⚠️ stomach pain ⚠️

☠ shortness of breath ☠

⚠️ difficulty breathing ⚠️

Prolonged exposure will make your symptoms stronger.  It can lead to losing your balance, memory, vision and eventually consciousness.

According to the NHS website:

After carbon monoxide is breathed in, it enters your bloodstream and mixes with haemoglobin (the part of red blood cells that carry oxygen around your body), to form carboxyhaemoglobin.

When this happens, the blood is no longer able to carry oxygen, and this lack of oxygen causes the body’s cells and tissue to fail and die.

CO poisoning symptoms

 

What To Do If You Suspect CO Poisoning

When respondents were asked what they would do if they thought they were suffering from CO poisoning, only half (57.7%) said they would go to a hospital. If you suspect you or someone you know is suffering from CO poisoning, you should: stop using all appliances, open doors and windows, evacuate the property immediately, call the gas emergency number on 0800 111 999 to report the incident, don’t go back into the property and seek immediate medical help.

 co alarm

For more information about carbon monoxide and to find out how to protect your family, visit: npower.com/co-safety.

 

How Poisoning Occurs

Carbon monoxide is produced when fuels such as gas, oil, coal and wood don’t fully burn, so incorrectly installed, poorly maintained or poorly ventilated household appliances like boilers, cookers and fires – both gas and solid fuel, can all be causes of CO poisoning.

Between 1995 and 2015, only 35 percent of deaths from CO poisoning was actually from mains gas appliances or heating. It was, in fact, appliances that burn solid fuel, portable gas bottles and, petrol and diesel that represented the majority of the remaining 65 percent. However, when respondents were asked which household appliances could be a cause of CO poisoning, only a third (35.2%) knew that a log burner could be a potential cause of CO poisoning.

 

Have your boiler serviced every year and stay safe.  Check your carbon monoxide alarms when you check your smoke alarms and be vigilant of the symptoms.  Visit  www.npower.com/co-safety for more information.  Check out the infographic below and thanks for reading.

Lu Lovely

 

carbon monoxide awareness infographic

Disclaimer: This is a sponsered blog post

5 Comments

  • Reply November 22, 2017

    milbhp

    I think it’s time we should all check and make sure we have a co alarm . I know I will be .

  • Reply November 24, 2017

    Rebecca | AAUBlog

    brilliantly informative post. This is something that really freaks me out so great to raise awareness of what to look for and getting an alarm x

  • Reply November 25, 2017

    Emma Raphael

    We do have an alarm after a friend of ours had a very lucky escape from a faulty boiler! So worrying. Have to say I had no idea that log burners could be a cause either!

  • Reply November 28, 2017

    AVRIL SAMUEL

    My daughter died of carbon monoxide poisoning, two months after her wedding, from a faulty boiler. But carbon monoxide can come from a variety of sources – coal fire, log burners, gas cookers, gas fires. We always take a CO alarm with us whenever we stay away from home. We don’t know if even our friends might have a faulty boiler. In addition, Carbon Monoxide can come through walls from an adjoining property. A carbon monoxide alarm is a second line of defence – the first must be having the carbon burning appliance regularly serviced by a registered engineer – ask to see the engineer’s card. Also – Test it Tuesday – test your alarms every week otherwise they might not be working when you really need them.

    • Reply November 29, 2017

      Lu @ALifeOfLovely

      Oh my goodness, that’s awful. I’m so sorry for your loss. I had no idea carbon monoxide could eek through walls. There should be more publicity about it really.
      Test it Tuesday is a great idea. I’ll start doing that too.

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