Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Many of us think that carbon monoxide poisoning only happens overseas. Perhaps recent high profile cases of British youngsters dying abroad have helped to reinforce this idea.

Sadly, this is not the case. People die of carbon monoxide poisoning in the UK, including Wokingham. Tragically, a young woman, resident locally, lost her life earlier this year from this deadly gas.

Carbon monoxide has no taste or smell, making it impossible to detect in the home without an alarm. There are a number of charities working in this area and all recommend the use of an audible carbon monoxide alarm which can be bought for around £15 from DIY stores.


  1. Ray
    July 26, 2010

    Or even cheaper a two pack of the 'brown dot/black dot' sticker detectors for less than £2. One lasts two years, so that is four years worth. I have one stuck near my boiler.

    1. Jonathan
      July 26, 2010

      The problem with the sticker detectors is that you have to remember to look at them every hour or so, including during the night when you are asleep.

    2. Gordon Samuel
      July 27, 2010

      Ray – my wife and I lost our daughter at her home in Wokingham in February. I implore you to buy an audible detector which has a screech like a fire alarm! No harm in having the sticker detectors as well but the audible would have saved our daughter's life – if she had one!

  2. FatBigot
    July 27, 2010

    This is an area in which (relatively) new regulation has been of major benefit. Anyone letting property must have a gas safety check undertaken at least every 12 months. It is not a guarantee of safety for the next year because something can go wrong at any time, but any appliance that is found to emit potentially dangerous quantities of CO will be closed and cannot lawfully be used again until it is repaired or replaced.

    It is an example of the good that comes from thoughtful and purposeful regulation. Sadly, some landlords still do not comply with their obligations and then find themselves in court facing very heavy fines.

  3. Javelin
    July 28, 2010

    Hadn't realised you could buy them. We have coloured chemical badges. Will pop out to Robert Dyas.

    As a thought are these mandatory for rented properties?

  4. Mat
    July 28, 2010

    Guys – please don't rely on the 'black dot' type. The trouble with CO poisoning is that it can happen very quickly – so quickly, the only type of alarm worth having is an audible one. Black dots may show up a slow leak over time, but chances are you won't check every day, and they're useless if you're asleep at the time.

    CO enters the bloodstream 300x faster than oxygen. If you have a major fault with a boiler, you won't stand a chance. Please get an audible alarm – we were close friends with Katie Haines who died in February.

  5. Cadence Royster
    February 4, 2012

    Say, you got a nice article.Really thank you! Will read on…

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