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Carbon Monoxide

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Carbon Monoxide

Fuel burning appliances in the home can cause carbon monoxide poisoning.

Carbon monoxide is a gas which cannot be seen, smelt or tasted. Carbon monoxide poisoning occurs when a fuel burning appliance such as a boiler, gas or open fire has not been properly installed, maintained or ventilated. 200 people are hospitalised in the UK every year with carbon monoxide poisoning.

To be screened for a Home Fire Safety Visit please call Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service on 01296 744477 or email:

For more information about the dangers of carbon monoxide visit

If you think there is an immediate danger, call the Gas Emergency Helpline on 0800 111 999.

Gas engineers who work on boilers, cookers, fires and all other gas appliances by law have to be registered with the regulatory body. To check if a gas engineer is registered, visit

What TO Do

  • Know the six symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning: headaches, dizziness, nausea, breathlessness, fainting/collapse and loss of consciousness, especially if the symptoms reduce when you leave your home
  • If you suspect you have carbon monoxide poisoning, open doors and windows, turn off gas appliances and leave the house. Seek medical treatment immediately from your doctor or go to hospital
  • Be vigilant for pilot lights that burn orange instead of blue, sooty stains on or near appliances or excessive condensation in the room. If you see these, contact a qualified gas engineer or your landlord to have your gas appliances and flues inspected
  • Be vigilant for coal or wood fires that burn slowly or go out. If you see this contact an engineer or your landlord to have your gas appliances and flues inspected
  • Dispose of cooling ash from solid fuel fires in a safe place outside
  • Install a carbon monoxide alarm compliant to British Standard EN 50291 in each room of your home where there is a fuel burning appliance and test it monthly
  • Consider requesting a Home Fire Safety Visit to review fire precautions within your home and receive additional advice and guidance

What NOT To Do

  • Do not block chimneys, flues or air bricks
  • Do not use a barbecue or camping gas stove indoors
  • Do not continue to use an appliance which has a pilot light that is burning orange instead of blue, or an appliance which has sooty stains around it until it has been checked by a registered gas engineer

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