Carbon monoxide is a lethal invisible gas and Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) is warning of the dangers.
NFRS is advising all members of the public to install carbon monoxide detectors due to its poisoning properties and have enlisted the help of a couple who had a narrow escape to boost their message.
It was during a holiday in Cornwall that David and Karen Griffin suffered a carbon monoxide poisoning where they were fortunately awakened by a carbon monoxide alarm.
Mr and Mrs Griffin, of Radcliffe-on-Trent, said: “We would like to use this experience to warn other people of the dangers and advise them to make sure they have an alarm.
“If it spread to the house we could have died.”
The couple were able to get out on time and called the British Gas emergency call-out who on arrival condemned the boiler.
Carbon monoxide is a gas that can’t be detected through smell or sight and once inhaled it enters the bloodstream which eventually causes cells and tissue to fail and die due to the lack of oxygen.
A statistic from the official NHS website states that in England and Wales there are around 60 deaths a year due to accidental carbon monoxide poisoning.
Leaks can be due to various reasons including poorly vented appliances such as: boilers, cookers, open fires, water heaters, and more.
During winter, temperatures can drop down to zero degrees Celsius meaning a rise in the use of additional heating sources which can pose a risk.
Due to this, members of the public need to be more aware of the dangers and signs of carbon monoxide poisoning and ensure household appliances are maintained.
“we thought we were going to die”
David Griffin, Carbon monoxide survivor
Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue service do not hand out detectors however advise to buy from Cadent “Place them near a gas/log burning fire,” they said.
If you suspect carbon monoxide: open windows and doors, switch off appliances, go outside, call the gas emergency number on 0800 111 999, and seek medical help.
The main symptoms of Carbon monoxide poisoning include:
- feeling sick and being sick
- tiredness and confusion
- shortness of breath
- stomach pain
- difficulty breathing