Protect yourself against the ‘silent killer’. That’s the message from Mid Ulster District Council for this year’s Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week (16 – 22 November).
Impossible to see, taste or smell, carbon monoxide is highly poisonous and can kill in minutes.
While any fuel which burns or smoulders can cause carbon monoxide poisoning, caravans, boats and mobile homes are also at risk as they often use portable appliances which are fuel burning.
The Council is offering some practical advice and guidance:
- The best way to protect yourself, and others, from the dangers of carbon monoxide is to make sure all fuel-burning appliances are serviced at least once a year by a registered engineer.
- Always follow the manufacturer's instructions for boilers, stoves, gas fires and solid fuel room heaters.
- All chimneys and flues should be inspected once a year and swept, if required, by a registered technician.
- As an additional precaution, you should also install an audible carbon monoxide alarm. These alarms have a limited life span, so if you already have one please check it to see if it is working properly. It might be time to buy a new one.
Early symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can seem like many common ailments and may easily be confused with food poisoning, viral infections, flu or simple tiredness. Watch out for the symptoms which include mild headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and drowsiness.
If you ever suspect Carbon Monoxide in your home, then open your windows and doors, turn off all fuel burning appliances and leave the house. If anyone shows symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, contact the emergency services and seek medical help immediately.
Anyone who would like more information should contact the Council’s Home Safety Officer on 03000 132 132 or email [email protected].