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BPECCity & GuildsW.R.A.SPart P ElectricalGas Safe Register

(CO – THE SILENT KILLER)

Carbon monoxide (CO) can kill.


CO is a highly poisonous gas produced when gas appliances are not working correctly, and is
difficult to recognise, as it has no colour, smell or taste. Symptoms of CO poisoning are similar to
those of viral infections and include drowsiness, weakness, headaches, nausea and pains in the
chest. If anyone in your house has any of these symptoms when using a gas appliance, stop using
the appliance immediately until it has been checked and consult a doctor.

Exposure to relatively low levels can cause brain damage or death. If you breathe this gas into your
body it will try and take oxygen from the blood and will eventually deprive the brain of oxygen. What
makes CO poisoning extremely dangerous is its deceptive onset. It affects mental ability, rendering
a person incapable without them knowing anything is wrong. Sudden exertion may cause a person to
collapse preventing their escape from the situation. The result is often fatal.

The danger signs to look out for on a gas appliance include:
- sooting or staining marks on or around the appliance
- a yellow or orange lazy flame - not crisp and blue
- condensation in the room where the appliance is installed

So remember, have your gas appliances regularly checked by a Gas registered installer to guard
against the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.

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