Reducing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Risk

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

With the start of Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week, the Health Protection Agency is today reminding people to have their fossil fuel and wood burning appliances - such as boilers, heaters and cookers - checked by an appropriately registered engineer before the winter sets in.

Professor Robert Maynard of the Health Protection Agency said: "Research shows that more than 50 people die each year from accidental exposure to carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning and many of these deaths take place between November and February due to faulty fossil fuel and wood burning appliances.


"To reduce the risk, it is vital that people ensure that their fossil fuel and wood burning appliances are regularly checked by an appropriately registered engineer. To minimise the risks, we recommend that people have these appliances regularly checked, especially before the start of winter."

In addition, the Agency is recommending that people buy a British Standards Kitemarked audible CO alarm. However, the installation of an alarm should not replace regular inspections by a registered engineer.

Symptoms of CO poisoning include headaches, nausea / vomiting, drowsiness, dizziness, shortness of breath and chest pains.



From what I understand, another source of potential carbon monoxide poisoning comes if you are stuck in your vehicle somewhere and have to leave the car running to provide heat. Even in cold weather it is apparently recommended that you leave your windows open at least a crack in order to ensure you don't get carbon monoxide poisoning from sitting there running your car heater.