As one of the most dangerous gases to threaten our health, carbon monoxide (CO) is colourless, odourless and tasteless which means that it is incredibly difficult to detect. In fact, residential property owners who burn carbon-based fuels like coal and firewood are at an increased risk of carbon monoxide poisoning because most households to do not take the necessary steps to prevent it from building up. Read on as the team here at Pearson Fuels go over everything there is to know about carbon monoxide and the danger it presents…
How is carbon monoxide created?
When carbon-based fuels are burned, the incomplete combustion creates the harmful and toxic gas known as carbon monoxide. In fact, the creation of the gas all falls down to chemistry as carbon dioxide is made up of two oxygen atoms for every single carbon atom whereas carbon monoxide has just one oxygen atom for a single carbon atom; this means that when carbon containing compounds are partially oxidised, CO can form as a by-product.
Can carbon monoxide poisoning be prevented?
In most circumstances, carbon monoxide does not pose a risk to property owners because it is taken out of the home through the chimney flue. With this said, a lack of chimney sweeping can cause a blockage to build up, preventing the gas from being removed properly which is why homeowners should always ensure that they invest in a regular chimney sweeping service. In addition to this, a carbon monoxide alarm should also be installed and tested regularly in order to ensure that property owners are notified when dangerous levels of CO are detected.
What should homeowners do if they detect carbon monoxide?
Sometimes carbon monoxide can be present inside a property for weeks at a time until it is discovered because it is notoriously difficult to detect. In fact, it is often found because homeowners start to feel unwell which is why homeowners should act quickly when CO poisoning is suspected. For example, it is vital that those affected turn off all gas appliances, open the windows, leave the premises and seek immediate medical attention. After all, the symptoms of CO poisoning can be ambiguous such as headaches, dizziness, nausea and loss of consciousness but the gas can be easily detected and treated with a blood test.
Here at Pearson Fuels, we know how dangerous carbon monoxide can be when it is not safely deposited outside a property via the chimney and that is why we encourage all of our clients to invest in regular chimney sweeping. After all, this process doesn’t just ensure that soot and creosote levels are controlled, it also provides the perfect opportunity to inspect the chimney itself and ensure that there are no cracks in the brickwork that can affect the ventilation of toxic gases. To find out more information about safely burning solid fuels, get in contact with the best coal merchants around and speak to a member of the Pearson Fuels team today!