Most people tend to associate the issue of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning with gas appliances such as ovens and modern fires. However, a solid fuel stove or an open fire can still pose a serious threat to your health.
If you think that an open fire or a solid fuel stove could not put you in any danger of carbon monoxide poisoning, read on!
The simple fact is that blocked chimneys or flues allow carbon monoxide to seep back into your home and badly affect your health, it could even kill you.
Open fires, stoves or oil boilers with chimneys or flues can cause problems if they fall into the criteria below:
A badly fitted chimney pot will also cause back pressure and lead to very harmful fume emissions coming back into the room.
Chimneys and flues allow carbon monoxide to get into the living space without you even knowing. Carbon monoxide has no smell, it has no colour so you won't even know it's there until it's too late.
Probably the only indication that carbon monoxide is present in the air will be that you or the members of your family will begin to feel unwell. The problem there is, there are so many other factors that can make people feel unwell. For example, if you feel sick shortly after eating some scampi that had a funny taste, you'll probably make the connection between the two. The scampi was a tangible thing that you could see, feel, taste and smell, carbon monoxide gives none of these clues. More worryingly, at higher concentrations carbon monoxide will cause you to go into a state of collapse and possibly even die.
Carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms can be very hard to recognize and diagnose. The symptoms differ from one person to the next and this even applies to individuals in the same household where carbon monoxide is present in high amounts.
The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can be explained by many other common and minor conditions like cold, flu, tiredness, lack of sleep, food poisoning, or more serious conditions like heart problems.
Young children and the old and infirm are at a greater risk than a healthy adult would be.
If you or any other people in the household are suffering from any of the above symptoms, you might be at risk of suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning.
As a chimney sweeping professional, I have heard some real horror stories. Only quite recently, a client telephoned to thank me and to say that his wifes overall health had improved significantly in the weeks that had followed my visit to sweep their chimney. She had been prone to bouts of nausea that were usually accompanied by headaches and an uncontrollable tiredness. They had many tests done at the doctors but to no avail. They were aware that her symptoms only manifested themself when she had settled into the front room at night to watch her favourite soap operas. The husband would usually disappear out to the sanctity of his potting shed so was unaffected.
Whilst at the property I found a rather large accumulation of leaves, grass and twigs, clearly placed there by birds. I carried out a thorough clean and smoke test and declared the chimney fit for purpose. No wonder she felt that way! There was no doubt in my mind that she had been suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning. It could have been so much worse!
The final action in the list above may sound a little strange to some people but it is very important to get this one right. You may need to be quite forceful with your healthcare professional to get them to do the right tests. This is because a blood or breath test can come back as falsely negative. If the sufferer has been out in the open air or sitting in a waiting room for some time, the levels of carbon monoxide in the body can drop below detectable levels so it is vital to have the test done within four hours of being in the affected area.
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t. 01923 661 614 | m. 07941 282 325 | m. 07976 318 160 | Email us
t. 01923 661 614
m. 07941 282 325
m. 07976 318 160
Watford | St Albans | Bushey | Rickmansworth | Bricket Wood | Hemel Hempstead | South Oxhey
Watford | St Albans | Bushey
Rickmansworth | Bricket Wood
Hemel Hempstead | South Oxhey