Carbon monoxide is a deadly gas released from faulty boilers, and is the most common cause of fatal poisoning in the UK. In fact, every year 50 people are killed from monoxide inhalation and many more hospitalised.
And as part of Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week homeowners are being given advice on how to avoid breathing in this deadly gas. Of course, most of us know what to do when we smell gas, but as monoxide is colourless and odourless it’s almost impossible to detect.
Carbon monoxide is usually released when a boiler is faulty or damaged, meaning the fuel has not been burning properly. And as boilers are being turned on all over Britain for winter after six months inactivity, it’s at this time that a leak is most likely to happen.
Npower, one of the leading companies for boiler servicing and repairs, is urging homeowners to have their boilers checked more regularly to avoid any unwanted problems. By having your boiler serviced once a year would reduce carbon monoxide worries significantly, along with installing a CO alarm.
Worryingly, two thirds of homeowners fail to have their gas appliances serviced. And only half are booking annual boiler check-ups, despite a third of boilers being over 10-years-old. It’s not just boilers being neglected, but also cookers and fires too.
Head of npower operations, Chris Thewlis, said: “Carbon monoxide leaks can be difficult to spot. Older appliances are definitely more at risk from CO leaks as they are more likely to be inefficient and malfunction, wasting money and risking health. It’s particularly worrying that people are not booking in their annual services for their appliances, especially when the risk is so high.
“Millions of UK homes could be at risk of a CO leak. But with the help of a carbon monoxide alarm, people will be alerted to the fact that there is a problem and will be able to act. It’s not just big leaks that can be detrimental to health; smaller leaks, which emit lower levels of carbon monoxide, can cause serious damage to your health over time.”