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Carbon Monoxide, do you know the dangers?

You may have heard of it, but most people aren’t fully aware of the significant dangers that carbon monoxide represents.

According to the NHS website approximately 50 people are killed and a further 200 suffer serious injuries each year due to accidental Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning.

What is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon Monoxide is a colourless, odourless and tasteless gas, it is also highly poisonous. It can be produced when the burning of certain fuels, such as gas, wood or oil, fails to burn off all the excess carbon.

Why is Carbon Monoxide dangerous?

Known as the silent killer, Carbon Monoxide can kill you in your sleep. For some, long term exposure can cause significant brain damage and cause difficulties with speech, thought and reasoning. Another reason that CO is so dangerous is that the symptoms are often confused with those of flu. Symptoms may include the following:

  • Headaches.
  • Chest pain.
  • Vomiting.
  • Dizziness.
  • Breathlessness.
  • Memory loss.
  • Lack of co-ordination.

How can I minimalise the risk of Carbon Monoxide poisoning?

The vast majority of Carbon Monoxide cases are preventable. The main causes of carbon monoxide poisoning are faulty central heating systems, faulty gas appliances and blocked chimneys. All of these need to be regularly maintained and kept to a safe standard. If you are the homeowner, it is your responsibility to do so, failure to do so could put lives at risk.

It is also advisable that you purchase a CO Alarm. These cost very little, but can save lives by making you aware of a possible CO danger.

The campaign for CO Awareness.

“Let’s work together to prevent deaths and injuries from the UK’s most common poison”
(CO Awareness plea)

Awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning plays an essential role in its prevention.

Harris Fowler works alongside CO Awareness to try to increase awareness of the effects and measures that can be taken to ensure you and your family are safe. On Monday 15th September 2010 Stephen Baker, partner at Harris Fowler Solicitors, marked the beginning of CO Awareness week with a presentation to the House of Lords.

Speaking on the legal challenge faced by victims of CO Awareness Stephen highlighted the difficulties that victims often face when trying to claim compensation for their injuries. He explained that everyone has the right to live in a safe environment and that where individuals are living in rental accommodation their landlords are responsible for ensuring that gas appliances are properly maintained.

Have you been affected?

If you or a family member have been affected by Carbon Monoxide Poisoning then contact us on 0800 213214 or complete our simple enquiry form to discuss claiming compensation.