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Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: Only 13 per cent can spot the signs

By Blackmore Vale Magazine  |  Posted: May 12, 2014

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Only 13 per cent of people are able to identify the main symptoms and characteristics of carbon monoxide poisoning, an online poll has found.

The poll of 2,000 people carried out on behalf of the Gas Safety Trust also found that those aged under 25 were the least capable group in identifying symptoms.

Under a third of those surveyed were found to have an audible carbon monoxide alarm installed.

Despite a number of recent high profile campaigns, the same poll found over one third of homeowners have not had their boiler serviced in the last 12 months - and just under a quarter of those renting properties knew whether their appliances had recently undergone a landlord’s safety check.

Chris Bielby, Chair of the Gas Safety Trust said: “We were disappointed to find that despite a concerted effort by industry and others, there is still a worrying lack of awareness about the dangers of carbon monoxide.

"It is essential that people get their appliances checked on an annual basis by an appropriately qualified engineer and that every household has an audible carbon monoxide alarm."

According to the Department of Health, 50 people die from carbon monoxide poisoning a year, with 4,000 people going to A&E and 200 being hospitalised.

Nicknamed the ‘silent killer’, carbon monoxide has no taste, smell or colour and is difficult to detect without a carbon monoxide alarm.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headaches, nausea, dizziness, breathlessness and a loss of consciousness. Symptoms are often experienced by people and pets in the home and disappear or lessen when outside.

Carbon monoxide poisoning often occurs when equipment has been incorrectly installed or poorly maintained.

In a gas emergency, or in the event of experiencing carbon monoxide poisoning, the public are urged to ring The National Gas Emergency Hotline on 0800 111 999.

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