• Carbon Monoxide - Be Alarmed!

  • Carbon Monoxide – Be Alarmed! is a national campaign aiming to reduce the number of deaths and injuries caused by carbon monoxide. 

    It's run by Energy UK on behalf of Britain's six major gas and electricity companies and is supported by more than 40 other organisations.  

    What is carbon monoxide?

    Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas produced when fossil fuels like gas, coal, oil or wood are burnt where there's not enough oxygen. Carbon monoxide is caused by poor ventilation or faulty appliances. It's colourless, odourless and could be fatal. Even if it's not fatal, it can still cause lasting damage to our bodies such as brain damage.

    Too many people in the UK die or become seriously ill each year from carbon monoxide poisoning. Because it's so hard to identify, nobody knows the exact number of people who are affected by carbon monoxide. The main symptoms are:

    • Headaches
    • Dizziness
    • Nausea
    • Breathlessness
    • Collapse
    • Loss of consciousness

    Recognising the early symptoms could save your life. If other people in your household (including your pets) are experiencing similar symptoms or if the symptoms only occur when you're at home, then seek immediate medical advice. You can contact your GP, call the NHS Direct on 0845 46 47. If it's urgent, then call 999 for an ambulance.

    How to stay safe

    There are some simple steps you can follow to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning and keep you and your loved ones safe. The simplest way is by getting a carbon monoxide alarm. Less than a third of households in the UK have one, putting more than 16.4 million households at risk. Are you one of them?

    • Fit an audible carbon monoxide alarm
      These are available from £20. You can purchase them from most DIY stores and some supermarkets.
    • Service your appliances regularly
      All gas appliances should be serviced annually by a Gas Safe Register™ engineer.
    • Keep your house well ventilated
      Make sure chimneys and flues aren't blocked up and air vents aren't covered. Always make sure you have enough fresh air in the room.
    • Know the signs
      The symptoms are similar to those of flu, food poisoning and tiredness. Seek immediate medical advice if you think you could be suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning.

    You can find out more by visiting the Carbon Monoxide - Be Alarmed! campaign website. Follow the campaign on Twitter and Facebook to get the latest updates and news.

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