According to the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for England (November 2013), Accidental (and therefore preventable) carbon monoxide poisoning results in recorded cases of around 40 deaths and 200 hospitalisations each year in England & Wales. Recent figures from the Department of Health indicate that there are 4,000 attendances at accident and emergency departments for treatment for CO poisoning each year in England - which can often lead to lasting neurological damage.
Many more people are likely to suffer unknowingly from CO poisoning, and the impact on health may well be underestimated. Those most at risk are the under 14s and the over 65s, with these age groups accounting for 31% and 25% of these hospital admissions respectively. Many more people are likely to suffer unknowingly from CO poisoning, and the impact on health may well be underestimated.
Such cases are caused by faulty or badly-serviced gas and other fossil fuel-burning appliances and systems. Carbon monoxide (sometimes referred to by its chemical symbol CO) is known as the silent killer because you can’t see it, hear it, smell it or taste it. With a potentially cold winter ahead, there are concerns that there may be more deaths resulting from poorly-maintained heating systems.
Reduce the risk of being poisoned by the deadly gas carbon monoxide, with a carbon monoxide detector. They are available in all good hardware and electronics shops.
To see how best to fit a Carbon Monoxide detector, watch this short 3 minute video:
Carbon monoxide can be given off by all fossil fuels. You need to look out for:
Boiler pilot light flames burning orange, instead of blue
Sooty stains on or near appliances
Excessive condensation in the room
Coal or wood fires that burn slowly or go out
Families suffering prolonged flu-like symptoms.