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article imageThousands of U.K. households at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning

By Sam Wright     Sep 19, 2014 in Health
As winter approaches, U.K. households and businesses that use liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) for heating are advised to arrange inspections for their gas appliances.
Industry trade association, the Gas Safe Register, has inspected thousands of homes across the U.K., and found the number of unsafe gas appliances to be alarmingly high.
In Northampton alone, 57 percent of inspected homes were found to have a dangerous gas boiler, cooker or fire. Around half of these appliances would not have been dangerous if they had been regularly serviced.
The research comes during Gas Safety Week, which runs from the 15th to the 22nd September to raise awareness of the importance of regular gas inspections. Gas Safe registered engineers recommend an annual inspection, and urges homeowners to arrange an immediate call-out if they are concerned.
The Gis A Hug foundation, set up in memory of two Irish teenagers who died of carbon monoxide poisoning four years ago, has also been raising awareness of the dangers of the silent killer and recommends annual boiler servicing and audible carbon monoxide alarms to all households.
Warning signs of unsafe or malfunctioning gas appliances include weak orange flames, black marks around the appliance, and excess condensation in the room. Many appliances will continue to work as normal, so the dangers are not always apparent.
Left unchecked, an unsafe gas boiler can result in a fire, gas leak, or explosion. Carbon monoxide poisoning puts thousands of British people in hospital each year, and is especially dangerous to children, the elderly, and people with heart or breathing difficulties.
Symptoms of carbon monoxide can often present themselves similarly to food poisoning or the flu, so homeowners are advised to read up on the symptoms, which include nausea, headaches, tiredness and confusion.
Households are also advised to thoroughly check the ID of any gas engineer they allow into their home to ensure they are Gas Safe registered.
More about United Kingdom, Carbon monoxide poisoning, LPG
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