Carbon monoxide

Unsafe gas appliances can produce a highly poisonous gas called carbon monoxide (CO), which can be produced when a gas appliance has been incorrectly fitted, badly repaired or poorly maintained. It can also occur if flues, chimneys or vents are blocked.
Carbon monoxide can cause death as well as serious long term health problems such as brain damage.

How to spot a carbon monoxide leak

  • Flames of a lazy yellow or orange colour on your gas hob, instead of a crisp blue.
  • Dark staining on or around gas appliances.
  • A pilot light that frequently blows out.
  • Increased condensation inside windows.

What should I do if I think my appliance is spilling carbon monoxide?

  • Call the National Gas Emergency Service on 0800 111 999.
  • Switch off the appliance and shut off the gas supply at the meter control valve. 
  • Open all doors and windows to ventilate the room. 
  • Visit your GP and tell them that you believe you may have been exposed to carbon monoxide.

Carbon monoxide poisoning

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include:

  • Headaches or dizziness
  • Breathlessness
  • Nausea
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Tiredness
  • Pains in the chest or stomach
  • Erratic behaviour
  • Visual problems

What to do if you you think you’ve been poisoned by carbon monoxide

  • Open doors and windows, turn off gas appliances and get fresh air immediately.
  • See your doctor straight away or go to hospital: let them know that you think you’ve been poisoned by carbon monoxide and they can do a blood or breath test to check.
  • If you think there’s an immediate danger, call the National Gas Emergency Service on 0800 111 999.