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Carbon monoxide is a highly poisonous gas that has no colour, taste or smell. Fuel burning appliances such as stoves, fires, boilers and water heaters can produce carbon monoxide if they are incorrectly fitted, badly repaired or poorly maintained or if flues, chimneys or vents are blocked.
Gas, oil and solid fuels such as coal, coke and wood can all produce carbon monoxide.
Too many people die needlessly or become seriously ill because of carbon monoxide poisoning each year, early symptoms can easily be mistaken for flu or tiredness.
How to stay safe
Carbon monoxide is produced when certain fuels are not properly burnt. This includes gas, oil and solid fuels such as coal, coke and wood. Carbon monoxide can also seep into properties via shared flues or chimneys and can even permeate through brick walls and plaster.
You are at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning if:
- Your fuel burning appliance was incorrectly or badly installed
- Your appliance has not been safety checked and serviced annually
- Your chimney or flue is blocked or has not been swept regularly
- There is no audible carbon monoxide alarm fitted and working in your home
Further safety advice
For information on how to fit a carbon monoxide alarm visit the Be Alarmed website.
For advice on protection from carbon monoxide poisoning from your appliances visit the Be Alarmed website.
For advice on recognising the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning visit the Be Alarmed website.
For advice on why you should never block ventilation to fires and stoves visit the Be Alarmed website.