Community Safety 

Causes of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning 

 

Causes of carbon monoxide poisoning

Gas, oil, coal and wood are all fuel sources that are used in many household appliances, including:

  • boilers
  • gas fires
  • central heating systems
  • water heaters
  • cookers
  • open fires

If the fuel in these appliances does not burn fully, carbon monoxide gas is produced.

Carbon monoxide is produced by:

  • Indoor use of a barbecue grill or outdoor heater
  • Using cooking appliances for heating purposes
  • Burning fuel in an enclosed or unventilated spaces, where there are no air vents, windows or doors left open or ajar
  • Faulty, damaged or worn out heating or cooking appliances
  • Poorly maintained heating and cooking appliances
  • Not servicing appliances regularly
  • Badly ventilated rooms - sealed windows, no air bricks
  • Chimneys or flues blocked by birds’ nests, fallen bricks, growing vegetation, bad DIY etc.
  • Poor or improper installation or use of heating and cooking appliances
  • Running engines such as cars or lawnmowers in garages with doors closed
  • Chemical fumes from cleaning fluids and paint removers that contain methylene chloride (dichloromethane)

Look out for:

  • yellow or orange flames where there should normally be blue ones
  • sooty stains on the walls around fires and water heaters

You could also be poisoned by carbon monoxide if you share a wall or chimney with a house that has a carbon monoxide leak, even if your own house does not have one.

Look out for these symptoms of Carbon Monoxide poisoning