Carbon monoxide

Infamous for being invisible to the naked eye, tasteless and scent-free, carbon monoxide (CO) is extremely dangerous. Responsible for 20 deaths in the UK each year, it’s important to ensure your home is Gas Safe compliant to avoid gas leaks and exposure to carbon monoxide.

What is carbon monoxide?

Formed naturally when a compound containing carbon burns incompletely, carbon monoxide is created due to a lack of oxygen.

Occasionally present in homes due to poorly fitted gas appliances, or those that are badly repaired or poorly maintained, carbon monoxide can often occur if flues, chimneys or vents are blocked.

What are the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning?

Similar to the effects of a hangover or flu, it’s vital to be aware of the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.

There are six main symptoms:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Breathlessness
  • Nausea
  • Collapse
  • Loss of consciousness

While these symptoms may seem ordinary in isolation, if they occur only within your home, and you feel better outside, or you see similar effects in the people and animals you live with, you should visit your GP as soon as possible to rule out carbon monoxide poisoning.

If you suspect a gas leak call the National Gas Emergency Service number on 0800 111999 immediately.

How can you protect yourself from carbon monoxide poisoning?

You can ensure your home is Gas Safe by following these five simple rules:

  • Always use a Gas Safe registered engineer
  • Have your boiler and gas appliances serviced annually
  • Ensure your appliances are fully ventilated
  • Check that the flame in your boiler is a strong, clear blue
  • Install a carbon monoxide alarm that meets British or European Standards
Information and other materials on this website are not intended to constitute professional advice and should not be relied upon. Please see our Terms of Use for further details.

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