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Residents urged to have gas appliances checked

15 September 2014

In support of Gas Safety Week (15 -21 Sept) and in a bid to raise awareness of the dangers of Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning, Humberside Fire and Rescue Service is urging residents to ensure they have Carbon Monoxide alarms fitted in their homes.

Carbon Monoxide is a gas that can be produced by faulty gas boilers, gas fires, heaters and cookers, wood burning stoves and open fires. It is a colourless, odourless, tasteless, toxic gas that, if not detected earlier enough can have fatal consequences.

Allen Cunningham, Community Safety Manager at Humberside Fire and Rescue Service said: “I recommend residents to ensure they have Carbon Monoxide alarms installed in their home. As the cooler nights draw in and the heating is turned on, the risk of CO poisoning is increased. If Carbon Monoxide is detected, these alarms will sound, giving residents an early warning enabling them to escape.”

The most important way to reduce the risk of CO poisoning is to have gas appliances and boilers checked regularly, by an appropriately registered engineer.

“I urge residents to arrange this now if their appliances haven’t yet been checked in the past year – it could save your life, or the life of a loved one.” Allen continued.

Those people who use wood burning stoves and open fires are advised to keep flues in clean working order and ensure the rooms they are installed in are well ventilated to reduce the risk.

There are also other indicators that may suggest a fault with domestic boilers or flues:

Black sooty marks on the radiants of gas fires

Sooty marks on the wall around stoves, boilers or fires

Smoke accumulating in rooms due to faulty flues

Yellow instead of blue flames from gas appliances

If residents see any of these signs they are advised to:

Turn off the appliance and open a window immediately

Contact a registered engineer to come and service the appliance as soon as possible

A headache is the most common symptom of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Other common symptoms include:

dizziness and nausea (feeling sick)

vomiting (being sick)

tiredness and confusion

stomach pain

shortness of breath and difficulty breathing

If people believed they are suffering from any of these symptoms they should call 999 and move outside the property immediately.

For any type of gas emergency call the National Gas Emergency Service on 0800 111 999