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Carbon monoxide

Carbon monoxide (CO) is the silent killer – you can’t see it, taste it or smell it.

CO poisoning occurs when any fuel-burning appliance has not been properly installed or maintained, or when there is poor ventilation. Sources can include boilers, gas fires, central heating systems, water heaters, cookers and open fires.

The build-up of carbon monoxide can also be as a result of any of the following:

We recommend that all homes have carbon monoxide detectors fitted as well as working smoke alarms. CO detectors can be bought in most supermarkets and DIY stores – they’re not expensive and they save lives.

The danger signs

The symptoms of CO poisoning

The early symptoms of CO poisoning can be easily confused with many common ailments and can develop quickly or over several days or months. Look out for:

What to do if you think you are suffering the effects of CO

See also:

For more helpful advice on the dangers of carbon monoxide, visit www.covictim.org or www.co-bealarmed.co.uk

The NHS Choices website has guidance on identifying the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.

To check whether a gas engineer is registered as Gas Safe, visit www.gassaferegister.co.uk

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