Be Aware of Carbon Monoxide

We encourage you to read through the whole of this article, to brush up on your existing knowledge of carbon monoxide safety. 

How is Carbon Monoxide Produced?

It's important to know how Carbon Monoxide is produced, and we are glad you're investing the time into researching how you can operate safely.

Carbon Monoxide is produced by the incomplete combustion of carbon-containing fuels, e.g. gas, coal, oil and wood. Gas stoves, fires, heating boilers, and many more appliances we rely on. The problem arises when these appliances are poorly maintained, not serviced and housed in poorly ventilated areas. This is why we encourage you to pay the small charge (if any charge at all) to book in a routine check every year to ensure you appliances are still safe to use. Alongside this, as mentioned above, we encourage the purchase of a Carbon Monoxide Alarm.

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Carbon Monoxide Alarms

As Carbon Monoxide has no taste or smell, we strongly suggest investing in a Carbon Monoxide Alarm. These can be purchased from a variety of places, both online and brick and mortar stores. For such a small short-term cost, it can save you (literally) in the long run.

What to do if you suspect a Carbon Monoxide Leak?

This is what the NHS recommends, in their detailed 'Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Article'

    • Stop using all appliances, switch them off, and open doors and windows to ventilate the property
    • Evacuate the property immediately – stay calm and avoid raising your heart rate  
    • Do not go back into the property – wait for advice from the emergency services
    • Seek immediate medical help – you may not realise you have been affected by the carbon monoxide, and going outside into fresh air will not treat any exposure by itself

Maintenance

As mentioned previously, one of the biggest steps you can take is to maintain your appliances correctly. Here are some essential tips to follow:
  • Using a Solid Fuel appliance? Clean the ash tray daily.
  • Clean the throat plates at the top of the room heater, monthly.
  • Keep that Chimney clean! Get it swept at least once a year.
  • Make sure there is sufficient ventilation for your appliance.
  • Only use your appliance the way the manufacturer advises.
  • Clean the flue towards the back of the appliance weekly on your boiler.

Judging by looks

Although you're told not to do this, in this context, we encourage it. Please look over your appliances regularly to ensure that any changes that may have occured, are noticed and noted. This could be a genuine life-saver.
  • Staining around the appliance could be evidence of 'sooting' and an engineer should check over this.
  • Excessive condensation in a room, could be a sign of a faulty appliance.
  • The pilot light should be checked regularly. This should be a blue flame. If the flame becomes a dirty orange colour, then your appliance may be faulty.
  • If your appliance is burning at a slower rate or goes out regularly, this might be a sign of a faulty appliance.

If you notice any of these signs, please take immediate action. Follow the steps below, alongside seeking medical attention (if you're suffering from symptoms of Carbon Monoxide poisoning.

  • Open all Windows and Doors

  • Either put out the fire, or let it burn itslef out (please be careful whilst doing this)

  • Stay in the room for as little time as needed.

  • Contact a professional to look into the state of your appliance, before using it again. 

Conclusion

We want you to enjoy a cosy fire over winter, however, we want you to be safe doing so. This article was created to make you aware of the risks of Carbon Monoxide, how it is produced, and what to do when maintaining your appliances. This was not made to discourage you to use Smokeless Fuels, Coals & Ovals, or Firewood, as these are fantastic alternative fuels that can be used to save you money this winter.

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SAVING YOU MORE THIS WINTER.

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