Category: News | Published: 7 Mar, 2017

Are you safe from carbon monoxide poisoning? Safety tips

Carbon monoxide poisoning has been responsible for thousands of deaths over the years, so it’s essential that you stay safe and take measures to prevent this terrible fate reaching you and your family.

Be aware of the risks

Anything that burns a fuel, including your wood burning stove, produces a level of carbon monoxide as a toxic byproduct. The good news is that, if your fuel-burning device is properly maintained, carbon monoxide is effectively dispersed away from your home.

It’s absolutely essential that you follow the maintenance instructions of any fuel-burning product in your home.

Know the symptoms

So you know what can cause carbon monoxide poisoning, but do you know the symptoms? Here are some of the most common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning:

Lower concentrations of carbon monoxide Higher concentrations of carbon monoxide
Dull headache Blurred vision
Dizziness Loss of consciousness
Nausea or vomiting Death
Shortness of breath

It’s important to remember that, with carbon monoxide poisoning, the warning signs and symptoms may be subtle. If you think that you or someone you know may have carbon monoxide poisoning, it’s classed as a medical emergency. Go outside and get some fresh air, and seek emergency medical assistance.

Leave it to the experts

You may think that fitting your own fuel-burning stove would make for an interesting weekend project, and it would! However, unless you know what you’re doing (i.e. you are qualified to fit these things for a living), avoid the temptation and get an expert in to fit it professionally.

This also goes for anything that burns fuel. Failure to install it properly could result in dire consequences for you and your family.

Keep it clean

A clean fuel-burner is a happy fuel-burner! Keeping it clean will significantly reduce the risk of carbon monoxide ending up where it shouldn’t.

Here’s a list of items you’ll need when you give your wood burner stove a deep clean:

  • Old newspapers to protect your floor
  • Paper towels
  • Cleaning gloves
  • Small ash shovel
  • Metal ash container
  • Wide putty knife or scraper
  • Dust mask

Top Tip: do not be tempted to use an ordinary vacuum to clean up ash. You can either use a fireplace ash vacuum or a properly filtered shop vacuum.

Main image credit: Swale Heating

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