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Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Last updated  19 February 2019

Carbon monoxide is a silent killer - colourless, odourless, tasteless and created by gas fires, open fires and other sources in the home.

Following these tips to reduce your risk of suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning:

  • Make sure home heating and cooking appliances are safe and well maintained;
  • Boilers, cookers, heating systems and other appliances that burn gas, oil, coal and wood (all carbon based fuels) should be installed and regularly serviced by a reputable, registered engineer;
  • Make sure rooms are well-ventilated and do not block air vents;
  • For double-glazed or draught-proofed homes ensure there is still enough air circulating for any gas, oil, coal and wood burning home heating and cooking appliances that are in the room;
  • Always use gas or other carbon-fuelled tools in a well-ventilated area and put the engine unit and exhaust outside;
  • Do not use carbon fuelled equipment and tools inside your home if you can avoid it;
  • Always use a safety mask when using chemicals that contain methylene chloride;
  • Do not leave petrol-fuelled lawnmowers or cars running in the garage;
  • Do not burn charcoal (e.g. disposable barbecue or outdoor heater) either indoors or in an enclosed space (e.g. tent, caravan or garage);
  • Do not sleep in a room that has an unflued gas fire or a paraffin heater;
  • Fit an extractor fan in your kitchen (if it does not already have one);
  • Do not use a barbecue or chiminea inside your home for cooking or for heating.

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