Modern boilers are safer than ever, however even the best of equipment can become faulty if not installed or maintained properly. Carbon monoxide detectors provide an early warning of potentially deadly faults with your boiler and other appliances and regularly save lives. It is highly advisable for every homeowner to install carbon monoxide detectors in their home and from October 2015 landlords will be legally required to fit them into their rental properties.
What is carbon monoxide?
Carbon dioxide is a colourless, odourless and tasteless gas, meaning there is no way to know that it is present without a detector. It is toxic to humans at a concentration of just 35 parts per million and when inhaled causes a person’s blood to stop being able to carry oxygen. This rapidly causes the failure of every part of the body and, ultimately, death. Around 30-50 people a year in the UK die of carbon monoxide poisoning and most of these deaths could be prevented with a detector.
Early symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headaches, nausea, vomiting, tiredness, dizziness and general feelings of weakness. Those affected may also seemed confused and disorientated and suffer from fainting or seizures. Many people mistake the early signs for food poisoning and do not take appropriate action in time.
Most cases of carbon monoxide poisoning are caused by badly fitted or maintained appliances such as cookers, heaters and boilers. Poor ventilation can also be a factor, including blocked chimneys or flues which prevent carbon monoxide from being released harmlessly outside the home.
What to do it your detector sounds
Once you have had a detector installed, it is important to react appropriately if it sounds. The first thing to do is to get your family out of the house, especially if you have children as they tend to be affected more easily than adults. Turn off all appliances that could be causing the leak, open every window and then call an engineer. It is also a good idea to contact the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Gas Safety Advice Line on 0800 300 363 which is free to call. You should make an appointment to see your GP as soon as possible, although if you believe you or anyone in your family has been affected it is better to head to A&E straightaway.
The key to keeping your boiler safe and in good working order is to have it regularly serviced by a competent engineer. DHS offer expert boiler servicing in Bristol and the surrounding area and all of our engineers are Gas Safe registered. With over 40 years in the trade, we can guarantee a quality of workmanship and service that will keep you and your family completely safe and your boiler in top working condition.