Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is easily preventable, yet every year it needlessly kills and injures people across the UK. As carbon monoxide has no smell, taste or colour, the most important way to identify it is with a carbon monoxide alarm. Currently, however, only 1 in 10 households has one.
Young children and elderly people are particularly at risk from carbon monoxide poisoning because their bodies are less able to withstand the effects. There is also a risk to women who are pregnant and their unborn child.
According to the Department of Health, more than 50 people in England and Wales die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning, and thousands more are treated in hospital. It is likely many more victims go unrecognised because the early symptoms can easily be mistaken for common illnesses such as flu or food poisoning.
Four steps to protect yourself
There are four simple steps you can do to keep your household safe:
- Fit an audible carbon monoxide alarm in your home – if you don’t have one, go and get one today. You can get them from most energy suppliers, DIY stores and supermarkets and many other high street shops
- Have fuel-burning appliances serviced annually by a registered professional
- Don’t block ventilation points and get chimneys swept at least once a year
- Learn more about the danger signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning at www.co-bealarmed.co.uk