What is carbon monoxide?
Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless, poisonous gas which may be produced by faulty, poorly maintained or misused gas appliances.
You may not know you have been exposed to potentially fatal levels of carbon monoxide until the symptoms of poisoning become severe.
Exposure to low levels of carbon monoxide may result in a person experiencing headaches, weakness, fatigue and nausea but at higher levels, symptoms could include severe headache, dizziness, rapid or irregular heartbeat, vomiting, seizures and collapse. In extreme cases this can lead to coma and death.
How do I protect my family from carbon monoxide?
- Have your gas appliances checked and serviced regularly by a licensed gas fitter or service agent. Do this in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions or every two years, unless the appliance is over 10 years old, when it should be checked annually.
- Keep gas appliances clean and free of dust.
- Make sure the area where you are using the appliance, is well ventilated.
- Never use outdoor appliances such as barbecues and patio heaters inside - Cafe blinds should be up to ensure adequate ventilation.
- Do not run several high volume exhaust fans with flued gas appliances unless this has been checked by gas fitter. Running multiple exhaust fans together with flued gas appliances is capable of drawing flue products back into well-sealed rooms.
- Never modify gas appliances or use them for purposes contrary to the manufacturer's instructions.
What should I do if I suspect I have inhaled carbon monoxide?
You should seek medical attention immediately.