Annual Boiler Check Can Prevent Carbon Monoxide Danger
The 'silent killer' as Carbon Monoxide poisoning sometimes called, causes around 30 deaths every year in the UK. It also leads to many injuries and illnesses (many of them going for weeks un-diagnosed).
A few simple steps can substantially reduce and eliminate the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. The first and foremost step is to get a gas safe engineer to install a carbon monoxide detaction device, and to get your boiler inspected and serviced.
Carbon Monoxide Gas
Carbon monoxide is a gas made of carbon and oxygen. It has no colour, odour or taste and it is extremely poisonous. The gas forms whenever fuel (such as gas, coal, wood or oil) is burned with insufficient air supply (which is defined as ‘incomplete combustion’). This can occur in your domestic boiler, if it has been wrongly installed by a plumber that is not fully trained or qualified.
Incomplete combustion occurs when there is incorrect installation (of the boiler or the heating device), where there are faults due to poor maintenance of the boiler or heating device or where there is lack of ventilation.
Carbon Monoxide is Highly Poisonous
Carbon dioxide prevents oxygen from being absorbed into the blood stream and causes ‘oxygen starvation’. For the haemoglobin, that carries the oxygen in the bloodstream from the lungs to the rest of the body, carbon monoxide is 240 times easier to absorb than oxygen itself. Thus the carbon monoxide immediately attaches itself tot eh haemoglobin and creates oxygen starvation. This causes asphyxiation, collapse and potentially death. Furthermore, if the victim is smaller in size the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning take place much quicker, which puts children at greater risk.
Detecting Carbon Monoxide
It is very difficult to detect carbon monoxide, but here are some symptoms for your attention. If you find these symptoms you should call a Corgi registered plumber or heating engineer.
Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon monoxide poisoning can occur when there is poor ventilation, inadequately maintained appliances (such as boilers and fires), and blocked or leaky flues and chimney. Therefore, in order to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, you should:
Ensure Your Boiler is Safe
As a home owner it is your responsibility to ensure that the boiler and all gas appliances are in good working condition. Heating Central can help arrange a visit by one of our Corgi registered and certified plumbers and heating engineers to inspect your boiler and other gas appliances.
This page has been written with contributions from plumbing and heating engineers from Surrey and experienced heating engineers from Clapham. Several of the company's qualified plumbers from Berkshire have worked on similar issues as well as some of our heating engineers from Barnes and our Kilburn Gas Safe engineers.
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