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Survey gives insight into dangers of carbon monoxide

Four people are treated for carbon monoxide poisoning in the UK every day - but 58 per cent of the population couldn’t spot a carbon monoxide leak, new research reveals.

The survey, conducted by Certas Energy, asked more than 1,000 people how much they know about carbon monoxide poisoning and general boiler maintenance.

Eight out of 10 stated that they knew carbon monoxide poisoning could be caused by a faulty boiler, but one fifth of those surveyed admitted to having never checked their boiler to see if it is working properly. 

In addition to this, almost two fifths don’t have a carbon monoxide alarm fitted at home and more than half said they would not notice anything wrong with their boiler unless their heating wasn’t working.

When it came to understanding the symptoms of a carbon monoxide leak, almost half of people incorrectly identified the signs, when the most common symptoms are: a tension-type headache, nausea and vomiting, stomach pain, shortness of breath and dizziness.

Mild carbon monoxide poisoning causes headache, dizziness, feeling sick or vomiting, shortness of breath, rapid pulse, abdominal pain, irritability and confusion. 

Under current regulations, landlords or their agents in England are required to provide a CO alarm in properties with a solid fuel appliance - that is, coal or wood burning stoves. However, in Scotland landlords are legally required to provide CO alarms in all properties.

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