The Silent Killer
We are legally responsible for making sure your gas appliances, gas pipe work and flues in your home are well maintained and safe.
About 40 people a year die accidentally from carbon monoxide poisoning related to unsafe gas appliances and a further 300 have been injured as a consequence.
What is Carbon Monoxide poisoning?
Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless, tasteless, poisonous gas produced by incomplete burning of carbon-based fuels, including gas, oil, wood and coal.
When carbon monoxide enters the body, it prevents the blood from bringing oxygen to cells, tissues, and organs. You can't see it, taste it or smell it but carbon monoxide can kill quickly and without warning.
What are the symptoms of CO poisoning?
- Headaches or dizziness
- Pains in the chest or stomach
- Erratic behaviour
- Visual problems
- Loss of consciousness
What to do if you suspect Carbon Monoxide poisoning?
- Ventilation - Get fresh air immediately. Open doors and windows and turn off gas appliances.
- Seek Immediate medical advice from your doctor or go to hospital - let them know that you suspect CO poisoning.
- If you think there is an immediate danger, call the Gas Emergency Helpline on 0800 111 999
What are the warning signs of a Carbon Monoxide leak?
- Yellow or orange rather than blue flames (except fuel effect fires or flue less appliances which display this colour flame)
- Soot or yellow/brown staining around or on appliances
- Pilot light that frequently goes out;
- Increased condensation inside windows.
All gas appliances need air to work safely. You should not block off any source of ventilation that helps a gas appliance to work properly. You should make sure that all appliances, flues, ventilation grilles and airbricks are kept clear.
What to do if you think an appliance is unsafe
- Do not use an appliance if you think it may be unsafe.
- Open doors and windows to ventilate the property.
- Contact the Gas Emergency Contact Centre on 0800 111 999 and they will send out an engineer and make the situation Safe.
Once the Gas Emergency Team have completed their visit, you can contact GGHT on 01925 452452 to report the gas incident and any further work that may be required.
ALL GGHT Tenants get their gas appliances, gas piping and flues checked every 11 month, with their annual gas safey check. It is vital that tenants allow access for the Gas Safety Check to be completed. Allowing access to complete the Gas Safety Check on the first appointment reduces the potential risk of carbon monoxide poisoning as your appliances will be checked for safe operation at the earliest opportunity in the servicing cycle.
Carbon Monoxide Awareness
GGHT work in partnership with the ‘Carbon Monoxide Awareness Ltd’ charity to ensure that people are aware of the dangers posed by Carbon Monoxide and not having their gas appliances checked regularly.
‘Carbon Monoxide Awareness Ltd’ are keen to make every area in the UK a safer place to live by helping to educate families all over the UK about the dangers of Carbon monoxide.
The charity has drawn up a seven-point checklist to minimise the risks of poisoning:
- Get any fuel-burning appliances serviced regularly by a properly qualified engineer.
- Install a carbon monoxide alarm – one with an audible alarm.
- Sweep chimneys and flues every year if you use solid fuel.
- If you rent your accommodation, ask your landlord for an up-to-date gas safety record.
- Keep flues, air vents and grilles clear and ensure rooms are well ventilated.
- If you are entitled to a free gas safety check from your gas supplier, take it up.
- Don’t ignore symptoms.