As some of our Twitter followers will be aware we recently had a very dangerous Carbon Monoxide leak due to our cooker and are very lucky to be alive!

Thankfully my daughter was on a sleepover for the weekend so was not in danger and we have alarms fitted that saved my life .

This got me thinking I wanted to make a Blog post to try to help offer some advise and hopefully keep people a little safer .


  • What is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a  poisonous gas that is tasteless and has no smell .

Breathing  this in can result in ill-health and even death .

Every year in the UK more than 200 people go to hospital with suspected poisoning resulting in 40-50 deaths .

Carbon monoxide is produced when fuels such as gas, oil, coal or wood do not burn fully. When a fire burns in an enclosed space, such as a room, the oxygen is gradually used up and replaced with carbon dioxide. The fuel is unable to burn fully and releases carbon monoxide.

After breathing in carbon monoxide, it enters your bloodstream and mixes with haemoglobin (the part of red blood cells that carry oxygen around your body), to form carboxyhaemoglobin.

When this happens, the blood is no longer able to carry oxygen, and this lack of oxygen causes the body’s cells and tissue to die.



  • Preventing carbon monoxide poisoning.

It is important to get an alarm fitted , these can be found online at very reasonable prices and as we found out ourself very recently they are life savers!!There really is no excuse not to have one but remember these are NOT a substitute for yearly safety checks .

Audible CO alarms should comply with BS EN 50291 and carry a British/European approval mark .

Identify any appliances in your home that could potentially  leak and make sure these are serviced regularly every year!! Make sure chimneys are swept and flues. Landlords are legally bond to arrange annual gas safety checks . Please be aware if you are a council tenant that the yearly gas safety check that involves a gas cooker is in fact only a visual check on the cooker and this actually needs to be serviced at the owners cost .

Incorrectly installed, poorly maintained or poorly ventilated household appliances – such as cookers, heaters and central heating boilers – are the most common sources of carbon monoxide.

Blocked flues and chimneys can also prevent carbon monoxide escaping, allowing it to reach dangerous levels.

The risk of carbon monoxide poisoning can occur at any time, in any home or enclosed space.

services and checks must ALWAYS be carried out by registered installers





  • What to do if your alarm sounds or you suspect a leak!


  • Turn all appliances off (gas cooker , boiler ect )


  • Open all windows and doors


  • Get everyone and pets out into the fresh air immediately . Stay Calm


  • in a medical emergency do not delay call 999


  • Call National Grid on 0800 111 999 (24 hour number) and follow their instructions.


  • Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide 


  • Headache
  • flu like symptoms
  • chest or stomach pains
  • erratic behaviour
  • nausea/vomiting
  • breathlessness
  • feeling tired or drowsy/confused
  • visual problems


  • Clues to lookout for .


  • black, sooty marks on the front covers of gas fires
  • sooty marks on the walls around boilers, stoves or fires
  • smoke building up in rooms due to a faulty flue
  • yellow/orange instead of blue flames coming from gas appliances
  • extra condensations
  • pilot lights blowing out
  • other people in your house, flat or workplace fall ill with similar symptoms
  • your symptoms disappear when you go away (for example, on holiday) and return when you come back.
  • your symptoms tend to be seasonal – for example, you get headaches more often during the winter when the central heating is used more frequently
    • your pets also become ill


  • Treating Carbon Monoxide Poisoning 

Depending on exposure you will need to see your G.P or visit your local hospital ,Always get checked to be on the safe side !




  • National Grid 0800 111 999 (24 hour line)
  • Gas emergency minicom 0800 37 17 87
  • Solid fuel advice number 0845 6014 406
  • Health and safety CO advice line 0800 300363
  • OFTEC oil-fired advice 0845 65 85 080
  • Gas safety register information 08004085500
  • NHS direct 0845 46 47
  • minicom 0845 606 4647


(All info supplied by National Grid and NHS direct ) and correct at time of publish


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