• Carbon monoxide is life-threatening even at a relatively low concentration. You cannot see it, even smell it,

    So how do you detect it?

    The best way is to install a good quality detector in your property, don’t buy those cheap ones you see on eBay, they are just cheap imports that could cost a life. Seek advise on the best one to buy.

    It’s best practice to install one in every room that has a flame burning appliance, this could be a wood burner, boiler, gas or oil, cookers and fires.

    The battery in the carbon monoxide detector should last around 5 years. It’s always best to read the instructions that come with the detector.

    Make sure you test it regularly, this ensures it’s working.

    Below you will see how dangerous carbon monoxide is.

    The concentration of CO in the air.

    10ppm, This is the maximum allowable concentration for an 8 hour period without any known risk to life.

    30ppm, The maximum allowable concentration for competent persons to work when investigating reports of fumes in a property.

    200 ppm, You could suffer mild headaches, fatigue even dizziness and nausea.

    400 ppm Frontal headaches within 1-2 hours. Life threating after 3 hours.

    800 ppm, Severe headaches, dizziness and convulsions within 45 minutes, Unconsciousness within 2 hours, death within 3 hours.

    1600 ppm, Headache, dizziness and nausea within 20 minutes. Death within an hour.

    3200 ppm, Headache, dizziness and nausea within 5 to 10 minutes, Death within 30 minutes.

    6200 ppm, Headaches, dizziness within 1 to 3 minutes. Death within 10 to 15 minutes.

    12800 ppm, Death within 1 to 3 minutes.

    As you can see from the details above carbon monoxide is a silent killer.

    How to avoid a carbon monoxide leak.

    Have your appliances checked annually.
    Gas boilers should be checked without fail, but for some reason, always get forgotten until it goes wrong.

    Most boilers are condensing these days, the condense is acidic and can eat into the flue pipe if a leak occurred. So it’s most important to have the boiler checked.

    Wood burners should always be checked to ensure the flue pipe is clear and not blocked.
    The flue pipe can block if you use wood that is not completely dry when it’s burned.

    If an appliance like a wood burner is installed in your property, you should have an air brick fitted somewhere in the room.

    Whatever you do don’t block it off. It’s there for a reason.

    So many times we have seen the air vents blocked with paper, even a towel to stop the draft.

    Many people do not realise the dangers they are putting themselves in when blocking off these vents.

    I have tried to explain what the carbon monoxide dangers really are.

    If you think something is not right with an appliance, switch it off, seek advise straight away.

    Don’t take risks, always be safe.