Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: How to Spot the Symptoms

Unsafe or poorly fitted gas appliances such as cookers, boilers and fires can produce the highly poisonous gas, carbon monoxide (CO). Carbon monoxide cannot be detected by sight, smell or taste, but it can seriously damage your health and even cause death.

Which is why it is important that you not only have a carbon monoxide alarm in your home, but also make sure your gas appliances are professional installed and regularly serviced by a fully qualified and Gas Safe Registered engineer, such as Tailor-Made Property Servicesin Romsey, Southampton and surrounding areas.

What is Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?

Carbon monoxide is produced by the incomplete burning of natural gas or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), this occurs when a gas appliance has not been installed correctly or is poorly repaired and maintained. Carbon monoxide can also be produced when flues, chimneys and vents are blocked and from oil and solid fuels such as coal, wood, petrol and oil.

Carbon monoxide poisoning happens when you breathe in the unburnt gas and it replaces the oxygen in your bloodstream. Your body needs oxygen to function and without oxygen your body tissue and cells will die. The smallest amounts of carbon monoxide can cause long term health issues such as paralysis and brain damage.  

What Appliances in the Home Could Produce Carbon Monoxide?

There are many appliances in the home that if not installed, serviced and repaired correctly by a professional gas engineer could be at risk from producing carbon monoxide, including:


●      Gas Boilers

●      Gas Fires

●      Central Heating Systems

●      Water Heaters

●      Gas Cookers


It is imperative that you should ensure your gas appliances such as gas boilers are installed, serviced and repaired correctly to help reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. It is also important that you have carbon monoxide alarms in your home to help detect carbon monoxide as early as possible and prevent any long term health effects. Keep chimneys, flues and vents well maintained, cleaned and free from blockages to ensure they are working.


How to Detect Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide is odourless, colourless and tasteless, making it impossible to detect by sight, smell or taste. The safest way to be sure your home is free from carbon monoxide is to install carbon monoxide detector alarms. If your home has a fuel burning boiler, fire or cooker you should place a CO detector in each room where fuel is burned, i.e. kitchen and lounge.  

A good quality carbon monoxide detector will alert you if carbon monoxide is present in the air, different types of alarms are triggered by different types of sensors. Once the alarm sounds, the CO detector must be in a carbon monoxide free environment to reset itself.


Gas Safe Register recommends taking the following action if you suspect you might be suffering from CO poisoning: 

  1. Leave the house and get fresh air immediately.
  2. Open doors and windows.
  3. Turn off gas appliances.
  4. Call the Gas Emergency Helpline on 0800 111 999.
  5. See your doctor immediately or go to hospital.

What are the Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?

The symptoms of CO poisoning are often similar to flu, food poisoning, viral infections and fatigue. Which is why it is common for CO poisoning to go undetected. There are several symptoms to look out for, including:


●      Headaches

●      Dizziness

●      Nausea

●      Breathlessness

●      Collapse

●      Loss of consciousness


In many cases, the symptoms worsen or are only present when you are at home or near to the faulty appliance. You may find that the symptoms disappear when you are out of the house or in another part of the house. If other members of your household or pets experience similar symptoms and you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning you should seek medical advice immediately.

What are the Warning Signs of a Carbon Monoxide Leak?

While a CO detector is the best way to detect a carbon monoxide leak, there are ways to spot a possible carbon monoxide leak in your home. Any of the following could be a warning sign of a carbon monoxide leak in your home:


●      Flames of a lazy yellow or orange colour on your gas hob. Gas hob flames should be blue.

●      Dark staining on or around appliances.

●      Pilot lights that frequently blow out.

●      An increase in condensation on inside windows.

How to Protect Against Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

The most effective way to ensure your home is safe from carbon monoxide is to ensure your appliances such as gas boilers, gas fires, gas cookers, central heating systems and water heating systems are installed correctly and regularly maintained and serviced by a fully qualified and Gas Safe Registered engineer, such as Tailor-Made Property Servicesin Romsey, Southampton and surrounding areas.  

Good installation and regular maintenance and checks will help reduce the risk of faulty appliances and will help keep you and your family safe. Secondly, you should place an audible CO detector in close proximity to gas appliances and also near bedrooms. A CO detector will only tell you when something has gone wrong, which is why it is imperative that your appliances are correctly installed and serviced.

The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 

1. The required regulations

The regulations require private rented sector landlords, from 1 October 2015, to have:

·      At least one smoke alarm installed on every storey of their rental property which is used as living accommodation, and

·      A carbon monoxide alarm in any room used as living accommodation where solid fuel is used - after that, the landlord must make sure the alarms are in working order at the start of each new tenancy.


About Tailor-Made Property Services

At Tailor-Made Property Services we offer a range of high quality property services to homeowners, landlords and residential property managers in Romsey, Southampton and surrounding areas. We provide a friendly, professional and reliable service 7 days a week, 365 days a year in Romsey, Southampton and the surrounding areas. 

As a tenant or homeowner, you want to live in a property that’s warm, dry and above all safe. Our heating and plumbing servicesin Romsey and Southampton, includes gas boiler, fire and cooker installations, repairs and servicing and issuing of gas safety certificates. If you’re a landlord, by law, you must also ensure that regular gas inspections are carried out and appropriate certificates are issued.


As a fully qualified and Gas Safe Registered engineer in Romsey, Southampton and surrounding areas, we provide the following heating and plumbing services:


●      Central Heating Repair

●      Central Heating Installation

●      Gas Safety Certificates

●      Homeowner Gas Certificates

●      Gas Appliance Installs

●      Boiler Servicing

●      Power Flushing

●      Plumbing in Appliances

●      Fitting Taps

●      Fitting Shower Valves

●      Cistern Repairs


Whether you want to book a visit or request a quote to get your gas boiler, fire, hob or cooker serviced, repaired or installed, get in touch with Rebecca or Paul on 01794 329 831 or email us at

01794 329831
02381 157756

Registered in England and Wales Number 8527587
© Tailor-Made Property Services Ltd 2017