Preventing carbon monoxide poisoning

It's important to be aware of the dangers and identify anyappliances in your housethat could potentiallyleak carbon monoxide.

Maintaining and servicing appliances

Boilers, cookers, heating systems and appliances should be installed and regularly serviced by a reputable, registered engineer.Don't attempt to install or service appliances yourself.

Anyone carrying out work on installations and appliances in your home must be registered with a relevantassociation, such as the:

  • Gas Safe Register (for gas appliances)
  • Heating Equipment Testing and Approval Scheme (HETAS) (for solid fuel appliances)
  • Oil Firing Technical Association (OFTEC) (for oil appliances)

Maintaining chimneys and flues

Make sure all chimneys and flues are swept regularly by a qualified sweep who's a member of the:

Engine exhaust fumes

To protect you from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by exhaust fumes:

  • don't leave petrol-fuelled lawnmowers or cars running in the garage
  • make sure your car's exhaust is checked every year for leaks
  • make sure your exhaust isn't blocked before turning the engine on for example, after heavy snowfall

Carbon monoxide alarms

Install a carbon monoxidealarm in your home to alert you if there's a carbon monoxide leak. However, an alarm isn't a substitutefor maintaining and regularly servicing household appliances.

You can buy a carbon monoxide alarm froma DIYor hardware store. Make sure it's approved to the latest British or European Standard (BS Kitemark or EN50291).

Other safety tips at home and in the workplace

Follow thesafetytipsbelow to help protect yourselfat home and in the workplace:

  • Never use ovens or gas ranges to heat your home.
  • Never use oversized pots on your gas stove, or place foil around the burners.
  • Make sure rooms are well-ventilated and don't block air vents. If your home is double-glazed or draught-proofed, make sure there's still enough air circulating for any heaters that are in the room.
  • Don't use gas-powered equipment and tools inside your home if you can avoid it. Only use them in a well-ventilated area, and put the engine unit and exhaust outside.
  • Always wear a safety mask when using chemicals that contain methylene chloride.
  • Don't burn charcoal in an enclosed space, such as on an indoor barbecue.
  • Don't sleep in a room that has an unflued gas fire or paraffin heater.
  • Fit an extractor fan in your kitchen (if it doesn't already have one).
Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 21 Dec 2018