'At least 50 deaths a year' from CO poisoningCarbon Monoxide awareness week starts today

16 November 2009

Gas flame inside the gas boiler

You can check the flame through the pilot window on older boilers

'At least 50 people a year die from carbon monoxide poisoning', says a safety campaign.

Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week starts today. The figures released as part of the campaign also show that 234 people needed hospital treatment in the last year due to carbon monoxide poisoning.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a gas without taste or smell and can be caused by any gas appliance, such as a boiler or cooker, that isn't properly installed or maintained.

Our expert guide to carbon monoxide detectors shows you which carbon monoxide alarm to choose and how to install it.

Carbon monoxide dangers

Lynn Griffiths, president of CO-Awareness and CO-Awareness Week, said: 'People can avoid the dangers of CO exposure by doing simple, regular checks around the house. For example, looking out for sooty stains on the wall, orange flames instead of blue and condensation on walls are all symptoms of poor combustion which produces carbon monoxide. 

'Having your fuel burning appliances serviced or inspected by the appropriate, registered tradespeople, would also help minimise the risk of CO in your home.'

Boiler servicing

For advice about boiler servicing, watch the Which? video guide to getting a good boiler service. You should get gas appliances serviced once a year. Before you buy a contract, read our review of boiler servicing contracts to see whether you'd be better off without one. If you need a new boiler see the Which? boilers review.

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