The Dangers of Carbon Monoxide

What is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon Monoxide is an invisible gas, which cannot be smelled or tasted and is extremely harmful to life due to its effects on the body. Prolonged exposure to Carbon Monoxide can be extremely dangerous and can lead to health problems such as lung and brain damage.
Carbon monoxide can be created when carbon & fossil fuels are burned without the ideal components for complete combustion – usually when there is insufficient oxygen present during the process. It is important to remember that if burned incorrectly any carbon based and fossil fuel can create Carbon Monoxide, even coal, wood, oil and natural gas including LPG.

(Gas Safe Leaflet)

The Danger Signs of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning:

  • ConfusionSigns of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning - Plumbing Care Services
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Fainting
  • Dizziness

If you have any of these symptoms, especially if they become worse in one certain place such as your home or workplace then you should take immediate steps to get to safety and have the issue investigated.

If you have a gas boiler in the property, or indeed any carbon fuel burning appliance then it should be turned off if safe to do so, all doors and windows should be opened to vent any dangerous gases and products of incomplete combustion. Any person suspecting they are suffering from Carbon Monoxide poisoning should seek immediate medical assistance.

If you are concerned about a dangerous gas boiler or any faulty gas appliance then call the National Grid Gas Emergency Helpline on 0800 111999 for assistance.

Which Types of Appliance can Cause CarboAppliances that produces carbon monoxide - Plumbing Care Servicesn Monoxide to be Produced ?

Any carbon fuel burning appliance if operating incorrectly can cause Carbon Monoxide to be produced.  Certainly any such appliance which has not been installed correctly or serviced properly is at risk. In short, any boiler, fire, stove, space heater, cooker or other heat producing device which runs on wood or fossil fuels can be affected. For this reason it is very important to have an annual boiler service and gas safety check on any carbon fuel burning appliance.


The Danger Signs:Incomplete Combustion - Plumbing Care Services

  • Keep an eye on any heat producing appliance or device in your home for any of the following issues:
  • Any dark staining on the wall or floor around your boiler, cooker or fire.
  • Yellow or light orange flames rather than neat blue flames.
  • Inexplicable faults on your gas appliances including lockouts and pilot light being repeatedly extinguished.
  • Any resident or visitor complaining of the symptoms above.

If any of these signs  are encountered then switch off the suspect appliance and have it inspected by the National Grid, a Gas Safe engineer or a HETAS / OFTEC engineer as appropriate.



How to Protect Against Carbon Monoxide in The Home:

Some faulty gas boiler and heating appliance problems are unavoidable, however as a homeowner if you follow the steps below you can mitigate against the most common causes of gas-related dangers

  • Have all heat producing appliances, including gas boilers, range cooker and fuel effect fires serviced and checked for safety by an appropriate Gas Safe engineer (or HETAS / OFTEC as appropriate).
  • Never cover up or remove a combustion vent if you suspect that it was fitted to serve a gas appliance, regardless of how draughty it gets when it is windy! If you have a nuisance vent that allows too much draught in then consider having it replaced with a gas appliance approved draught proof vent (yes they do exist).
  • Only ever purchase good quality heating appliances, in the UK these will generally be kitemarked for quality. Cheap imported flueless gas fires and cookers are frequently associated with Carbon Monoxide poisoning incidenCO Alarm - Plumbing Care Servicests.

Have a new Carbon Monoxide alarm installed in your home and check it once a year. Remember these alarms usually have a short lifespan of 4-6 years so it is important to know the expiration date and write it on the alarm if it is not already present. When fitting a Carbon Monoxide alarm it is important to follow the installation instructions carefully, as you would do with a smoke alarm, as incorrect positioning of such an alarm could affect its ability to protect your home and family. Remember as well that a new Carbon Monoxide Alarm does not overcome the necessity to have your gas appliances serviced annually as they are purely a warning mechanism.


Our Gas Safe registered boiler engineers at Plumbing Care Services can help with any safety concerns you have with a gas fired or LPG boiler, fire or cooker. If you suspect you have an unsafe appliance turn it off, ensure yours and your family’s safety and give us a call. We can fix boilers producing carbon monoxide, test gas chimneys and flues and carry out in house Carbon Monoxide testing. Why not save our phone number above – you could need it one day. We are here to help on 03333 441 399 or via the contact form above.

Call us now or use the contact form on this page for a quick callback. We are here ready to help day and night all year round.

2 Responses to “The Dangers of Carbon Monoxide”

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  2. […] entirety at every inspection. It is also reinforces our company policy to carry out an in-room carbon monoxide check on every open flued appliance we encounter, just in case of any flue defects that cannot be […]

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