Most of us live in homes that are heated by gas central heating or contain gas appliances. This puts us at risk of having a potentially silent killer in our homes.
Over 50 people a year die from carbon monoxide poisoning and a further 4,000 a year are hospitalised.
I was 11 years old and I had been suffering from headaches & shortness of breath. I went upstairs one night to go to bed and smelt gas in my bedroom. I called my mum and she came and could smell it too. Mum called a Gas engineer and they came straight out to us. In the meantime we opened all the windows and waited outside.
The gas engineer tested my bedroom for carbon monoxide and it tested positive, right there in the room I had been sleeping in night after night. It’s all a bit of a blur but I remember being in hospital having blood tests and being put on oxygen when all I wanted was to be at home asleep; ironically in the comfort of my bedroom!
The carbon monoxide was coming from a problem with the boiler flue which had been leaking carbon monoxide directly into my bedroom.
I was one of the lucky ones, I am here to tell the story.
It’s really important that every household does everything possible to minimise the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. We have a carbon monoxide alarm in our home and test it monthly just like we do our smoke alarm; a few pounds and a few seconds a month really can save lives.
It is important that when choosing a carbon monoxide monitor you choose one with an audible alarm; if carbon monoxide was filling your home up quickly at night you would not be woken by one of those colour changing monitors.
The CO Be Alarmed campaign advises that all households follow to A, B, C checklist:
A – Alarm: Make sure you have one
B – Batteries: Are they working?
C – Check: Make sure you have regular applicable safety checks
For more information visit: CO Be Alarmed.