Carbon monoxide facts

Here are some facts about Carbon Monoxide:

There may be seasonal rise in the number of carbon monoxide related deaths and incidents as heating systems and fires are re-lit for the Autumn

  • Carbon monoxide poisoning can affect anyone, although particularly at-risk groups include children, the elderly, people in rented accommodation and some ethnic minority groups

  • Survivors of carbon monoxide poisoning can be left with chronic after-effects such as brain damage for the rest of their lives

  • Regional carbon monoxide hotspots include Yorkshire, Wales, the North East and the Midlands

  • Incorrect installation and servicing of appliances is often a key factor - for example, it has been conservatively calculated that an illegal gas worker is 32 times more likely to be involved in a serious carbon monoxide incident than a CORGI registered installer

CO can be produced in any fuel-burning appliance that is not properly maintained (e.g. cookers, heaters, gas tumble dryers, hot-water heaters and fireplaces).

Other causes of a build up of carbon monoxide

The build up of CO can also be as a result of any of the following:

  • Indoor use of a barbecue grill or outdoor heater

  • Using cooking appliances for heating purposes

  • Faulty or damaged appliances - heating or cooking

  • Heating appliance not maintained or serviced

  • Badly ventilated rooms - sealed windows, no air bricks

  • Blocked chimneys or flues - birds nests, fallen bricks, growing vegetation, bad DIY

  • Poor or improper installation or use of appliances

  • Running engines such as cars or lawnmowers in garages

  • Old appliances that have not been serviced or looked after properly

Link to more information about carbon monoxide

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning

Carbon monoxide - what to do in an emergency

Preventing carbon monoxide poisoning

Carbon Monoxide awareness website (opens in new window)

Last updated: Tuesday 14 July 2015