Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service is reminding the public of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning. Between 2014 and 2016 Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service attended 166 incidents of carbon monoxide exposure across the Service area.
Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a colourless, odourless, highly poisonous gas that is found in carbon-based fuel appliances. If you use natural gas, LPG, heating oil, or solid fuel for heating or cooking, you should be aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide if your equipment is not properly installed and maintained. Poorly maintained burners, blocked flues, dirty jets and poor ventilation can all cause CO poisoning which can kill in minutes.
During the festive season, many people will be lighting their fire or solid fuel stove, which if not maintained - can put them at risk of CO poisoning. Before lighting the fire remember: the chimney should be swept at least once a year and stoves should be serviced by a competent or registered engineer. It is also important to be aware that when cleaning the grate, the hot ashes will still give off CO, thus need to be taken outside and placed in a fireproof container where they can cool safely.
Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service Home Safety Manager, Jeremy Trew warns,
‘Carbon monoxide poisoning has similar symptoms to a cold, which means people will feel the effects, but may assume they have a virus. A carbon monoxide detector is essential to prevent an easy mistake becoming a tragedy.’
The symptoms of CO poisoning include:
• Mild headache
To guard against carbon monoxide, the Fire Service strongly recommends that you have a CO detector in the home and if it sounds, stop using the appliance, ventilate the building immediately, and do not use the appliance again until it has been serviced by an engineer.
For more information on our Home Fire Safety Checks please visit our website