Carbon Monoxide Poisoning – What Are The Symptoms?

Carbon Monoxide Symptoms


Unsafe gas appliances produce a highly poisonous gas called carbon monoxide (CO). It can cause death as well as serious long term health problems such as brain damage

Remember the six main symptoms to look out for:

  1. Headaches
  2. Dizziness
  3. Nausea (sickness)
  4. Breathlessness
  5. Collapsing
  6. Loss of consciousness

Being aware of the symptoms it could save your life.

Carbon monoxide symptoms are similar to flu, food poisoning, viral infections and simply tiredness. It’s quite common for people to mistake this very dangerous poisoning for something else.

Other signs that could point to carbon monoxide poisoning:

  • Your symptoms only occur when you are at home
  • Your symptoms disappear or get better when you leave home and come back when you return
  • Others in your household are experiencing symptoms (including your pets) and they appear at a similar time

What should I do if I experience any symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning?

  • Get fresh air immediately. Open doors and windows, turn off gas appliances and leave the house
  • See your doctor immediately - let them know that you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning. They can do a blood or breath test to check
  • If you think there is immediate danger, call the national gas emergency helpline on 0800 111 999 
  • Call Tai Tarian on 0300 777 3000 to report the problem, a gas safe engineer will then be sent to your property to ensure your safety

Don’t assume your gas appliances are safe! Let our Gas Safe registered gas engineer do the annual service and check. This is the only safe way to prevent yourself and those around you from incurring serious illness or death due to carbon monoxide exposure.


What is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a highly poisonous substance produced by the incomplete burning of gas and liquid petroleum gas (LPG).

This happens when a gas appliance has been incorrectly fitted, badly repaired or poorly maintained. It can also occur if flues, chimneys or vents that are blocked.

Oil and solid fuels such as coal, wood, petrol and oil can also produce carbon monoxide.


What is Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?

Carbon monoxide poisoning occurs when you breathe in even small amounts of the gas.
When you breathe in carbon monoxide, it gets into your blood stream and prevents your red blood cells from carrying oxygen.
Levels that do not kill can cause serious harm to health when breathed in over a long period of time. Long term effects of carbon monoxide poisoning include paralysis and brain damage. Such long term effects occur because many people are unaware of unsafe gas appliances and subsequent gas leaks.


How Do I Avoid a Carbon Monoxide Leak in my Home?

Your home may show signs of carbon monoxide. Any one of the following could be a sign that there is carbon monoxide in your home.

  • The flame on your cooker should be crisp and blue. Lazy yellow or orange flames mean you need to get your cooker checked
  • Dark staining around or on appliances
  • Pilot lights that frequently blow out

If you have a faulty appliance in your home, it could lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.

Please call Tai Tarian on 0300 777 3000 to service your appliance to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.


Why Do I Need a Carbon Monoxide Alarm?

Because carbon monoxide has no taste, smell or colour.

While an alarm will alert you to carbon monoxide in your home, it is no substitute for having an annual gas safety check and service.

A carbon monoxide alarm looks similar to a smoke alarm.

You are particularly at risk from carbon monoxide poisoning while sleeping, as you may not be aware of early carbon monoxide symptoms until it’s too late.

Do not use the ‘black spot’ detectors that change colour when carbon monoxide is present. These will not make a sound to wake you up if the poisonous gas is present while you are sleeping.