Get your fossil fuel and wood burning appliances checked

wood burner
(Last Updated On: November 24, 2015)

Torbay Council’s Public Health Team is advising people to get their fossil fuel and wood burning appliances checked by an appropriately registered engineer before winter sets in.

As part of Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week, Public Health England (PHE) is advising people to have their fossil fuel and wood burning appliances, like boilers, heaters and cookers, checked by an appropriately registered engineer before winter sets in.

There are about 30 accidental deaths a year from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning in England and Wales. It is difficult to detect because you can’t see, smell or taste it.

Many of these deaths take place between November and February due to faulty fossil fuel and wood burning appliances leaking this lethal gas.

Executive Lead for Health and Wellbeing, Cllr Derek Mills, said: “To lower the risk, we recommend that people should ensure that their fossil fuel and wood burning appliances are regularly checked by an appropriately registered engineer.

“In addition, people should fit an audible CO alarm which meets European Standards EN 50291 in each room containing an appliance and ensure rooms are adequately ventilated.”

PHE recommends that people have these appliances and their flues checked before the start of winter, which is when most of the accidental deaths occur.

The installation of an alarm, which can be bought from most DIY retailers and supermarkets, should not replace regular servicing of all fossil fuel and wood burning appliances by a registered engineer.

It is estimated that around 4,000 people attend accident and emergency departments in England each year because of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Although most of the 4,000 people would not be sick enough to be admitted to hospital, it is known that long-term exposure is associated with neurological effects – such as having difficulties in concentrating.

If you are suffering any symptoms of CO poisoning, you should go outside and call NHS 111 for advice.

(Author)

Team account for We Are South Devon.