Carbon monoxide is known as the silent killer. This is because it is a colourless, odourless gas that has the potential to be deadly when inhaled. If you have a gas leak, there could be a lot of carbon monoxide in your home.
Around 20 people die each year of this silent killer, which is 20 people too many! You must learn how to sport a gas leak to make totally sure that you are not going to be one of those 20.
Causes of Gas Leaks
There are various reasons as to why a gas leak could occur, although the most common one is a faulty appliance, or one that isn’t maintained or has been installed the wrong way. This is why, if you install a gas appliance, you should only have this done by someone who is on the gas safety register (which has replaced Corgi) and that you have the appliance serviced regularly.
Is Detecting Gas Leaks Possible?
Unfortunately, carbon monoxide has neither smell nor colour, which makes it very hard to actually spot. It is also for this reason that these leaks can be so dangerous. You should, therefore, invest in devices that are able to monitor whether or not there is any gas present in your home. Here are a few things you can do.
• Install carbon monoxide alarms, which detect the presence of gas and send out an alert.
They can be compared to fire and smoke alarms and are incredibly important in terms of your first line defence. It is about keeping your home safe, in other words. These alarms should be professionally fitted by people on the Gas Safety Register.
Additionally, they should come back at least once a year to test the battery and replace it if necessary.
• There are a number of symptoms associated with carbon monoxide poisoning. Most people will experience sickness, headaches, fatigue, dizziness, stomach pains, confusion and difficulty breathing. What sets this apart from a regular bug is that the symptoms disappear when people leave the home. If these symptoms are present, you should seek immediate medical assistance, as well as call in a Gas Safe Register engineer. Remember that medical assistance should come first.
• You should also make sure you check all your appliances regularly. Faulty boilers are the most common culprits. If you notice the pilot light regularly blows out, you should have it checked. Additionally, the flame should be blue rather than yellow or orange. You may also notice that the appliance shows a brown, black or otherwise scorched area and signs of soot, including musty smells. Finally, if your windows suddenly start to experience more condensation than normal, you should also have things checked out.
Spotting a gas leak is mainly down to maintaining your appliances and being vigilant in terms of recognising signs and symptoms. It generally takes a long time for carbon monoxide to actually kill, except in children, the elderly and those with a compromised immune system, so you should be able to save everyone by getting them out the property as soon as possible and having the issue resolved.