Carbon Monoxide poisoning

Winter is the time when most carbon monoxide poisonings occur.

By taking action you can protect you and your family against this toxic gas that kills approximately 40 people per year in the UK and injures thousands.

These avoidable tragedies can be prevented by making sure that gas, coal and other fossil fuel and wood-burning heating and cooking appliances are properly installed and maintained and by fitting an audible carbon monoxide alarm. As temperatures drop and the heating is turned up it is important to check that appliances are working properly and that flues and chimneys are not blocked.

Carbon monoxide

Carbon monoxide is difficult to detect because it has no smell, taste or colour. This means you can inhale it without realising.

Carbon monoxide is produced when fuels such as gas, oil, coal or wood do not burn fully. When a fire burns in an enclosed space, such as a room, the oxygen is gradually used up and replaced with carbon dioxide. The fuel is unable to burn fully and releases carbon monoxide.

Carbon monoxide poisoning

Carbon monoxide poisoning is difficult to spot as the symptoms are very similar to those for flu and food poisoning including persistent headaches, sickness and tiredness. However, unlike flu, carbon monoxide poisoning does not cause a high temperature (fever).

The links on this page give you all the information you need to protect yourself against carbon monoxide poisoning.


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More information

Warm yourself with a cup of tea Keep yourself and your home warm

Advice on keeping warm this winter

cat keeping warm on a radiator Heating and energy advice

Keeping your home warm efficiently

A lady sneezes Keep well

Advice on coping with winter illnesses