Monday, 15 February 2010
Carbon Monoxide Awareness campaign “Don’t Become a Headline”
As a mum with three young kids in the house, this is an issue that I'm really happy to be blogging about. Some security equipment has become standard issue these days - people do up their seatbealts in cars and install smoke alarms in their homes without a second thought now, whereas nobody even contemplated doing it when I was a kid - but carbon monoxide alarms still haven't been widely accepted yet. Which is a real shame, because they're dead easy to install and don't cost that much. ( The Ei204 alarm from Ei Electronics costs just £24.95, which is a small price to pay for peace of mind.)
Ei Electronics, the UK’s largest smoke and Carbon Monoxide alarm manufacturers has found that over 30 deaths a year occur because of Carbon Monoxide poisoning yet many people either don’t have a Carbon Monoxide alarm in their home or aren’t even aware of Carbon Monoxide and the dangerous effects it can have. To help combat this, they've teamed up with the COCAA (Carbon Monoxide Awareness Alliance) for the Carbon Monoxide Awareness campaign “Don’t Become a Headline” to raise public awareness of Carbon Monoxide poisoning and get the public to make sure fuel burning appliances are checked regularly.
So what can you do ? It's really quite simple :
- Check the colour of gas flames: if it’s blue it’s normal, if it’s orange or yellow this could be an indication of a problem with the appliance in question.
- Obstructing ventilation of a heating appliance to prevent draughts does more harm than good so make sure vents and filter areas are kept clear.
- Make sure your boiler and gas heating systems are checked regularly and serviced annually.
- Look for discolouration and staining around pilot lights and fire places as this is often a sign of the incomplete burning of fuel.
- Make sure that gas and heating appliances and systems are installed by a Gas Safe registered and approved engineer.
- Properties with working chimneys should make sure chimney flues are swept regularly.
- If you are renting a flat or house make sure it states in the contract that the landlord regularly maintains and services any heating systems within the property. You are also lawfully allowed to request a gas safety certificate for the property before moving in.
- Buy an EN Carbon Monoxide alarm so wherever you are in the home you are alerted to a Carbon Monoxide leak.
You also need to be aware of the effects of Carbon Monoxide poisoning so that you can react in time. EI Electronics explain : "Carbon Monoxide which is odourless, tasteless and colourless, making it difficult to detect, is a residual product of vehicle emissions and gasoline fuelled heaters. When inhaled by humans Carbon Monoxide binds with blood meaning the body is starved of Oxygen, leading to symptoms such as headaches, nausea, vomiting and drowsiness. Mild Carbon Monoxide poisoning can bring on symptoms similar to flu, but moderate to severe Carbon Monoxide poisoning can lead to chest pain, confusion, unconsciousness and, in the worst case scenario, coma and death. Ei Electronics advises that in family homes in particular it is important to be aware of the warning signs of Carbon Monoxide as the most vulnerable to poisoning are the elderly and children. "
For more information on the Carbon Monoxide Awareness campaign please visit: http://www.co-bealarmed.co.uk/ and for more information about Ei Electronics Ei204 CO alarm please visit: www.eielectronics.com.
There's one other thing you can do to protect your home against the dangers of Carbon Monoxide and that is ... enter my giveaway coming up in a second to win two Carbon Monoxide Alarms !