The dangers of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning are real and need to be taken seriously. Fortunately taking simple steps will give you peace of mind about enjoying effective home heating, using wood and other solid fuels
There is a lack of public awareness about carbon monoxide and the use of woodburning stoves, open fires and solid fuel boilers and cookers. Many people think that carbon monoxide only comes from gas appliances but the truth is that any fuel that burns, creates carbon monoxide. If everything is working properly, CO passes harmlessly out of the chimney.
We all know that fire can be dangerous but you are statistically more likely to suffer injury from CO poisoning than from a chimney fire. There are between 15 and 25 deaths per year from CO poisoning due to unsafe burning of wood and other solid fuels. There are hundreds of non-fatal poisoning incidents as well. Exact numbers are unclear due to a lack of proper reporting. Some people will be chronically poisoned and never know the cause.
Carbon monoxide gas is produced when burning any fuel. Poisoning occurs if you breathe it. You can’t see or smell carbon monoxide so unless you have a working alarm, you may be unaware of any problem. It can kill quickly and without warning. The symptoms of low level CO poisoning are often mistaken for flu or generally feeling run down. They include headache, fatigue, dizziness, feeling or being sick.
Burning any solid fuel produces CO along with the other combustion gasses. These normally pass harmlessly out the top of the chimney. If however the chimney is blocked or leaky, if the fire/appliance is faulty or if the ventilation to the fire is inadequate – CO gas may enter your property. This can happen in a different room from the location of the fire.
Remember, in the UK there is no requirement for someone calling themselves a chimney sweep to have undertaken any training or registration with a proper trade association. You expect your gas engineer to be trained and registered and it is equally important that your chimney sweep is too. Please use a member of the Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps. They have the best training in the UK and can prevent or draw attention to a problem before it happens.
You can get excellent advice, information and statistics on CO issues at www.co-gassafety.co.uk
Getting your fire up to temperature quickly reduces unnecessary pollution and it's also rather satisfying.
EMILIANO Sala’s death in a tragic plane crash has brought the issue of carbon monoxide in aeroplanes to the forefront of national news. The Argentinian football star was on his way to begin a new... View Article
IF YOU have recently moved into a new home – you may want to study these photos closely. The pics were taken by respected Guild member Alec Osborn, who covers the Hereford area, after he... View Article
CANCER was once an occupational hazard for chimney sweeps. And as if that wasn't bad enough, cancer of the scrotum was a particular problem.
McCauley, aged 5, with mum Adele. He died alongside his grandparents (below) _ PERHAPS it sounds dramatic to say book a chimney sweep to protect your children’s lives from the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.... View Article
Guild chimney sweeps offer a friendly service but take their profession of protecting lives very seriously _ THE MODERN HISTORY of chimney sweeping, in the past 200 years or so, is full of merriment, mystery and... View Article
MONEY is the main concern for a mortgage company when a house buying survey is organised. The company want reassurance that there are no structural issues in the property, for which a buyer is seeking... View Article
CONSUMERS are often advised of the importance in installing a working carbon monoxide (CO) alarm – and rightly so. CO alarms give a level of reassurance to the householder that they will be alerted if... View Article
In case you hadn’t noticed(!) - Christmas is coming. It’s that traditional time of year when our heads spin with a massive list of Things-To-Do. And whatever we tick on that list, there’s always another thing to think of, and another, and so on.
Radio 4 presenter Steve Carver’s documentary on the run up to Christmas following a Cambridge Chimney Sweep!