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CARBON MONOXIDE (CO)

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colourless, odourless, tasteless, flammable and poisonous gas. When breathed in it can cause symptoms such as; headaches, dizziness, confusion, breathing difficulties, stomach pain, and being sick. Exposure to high levels of carbon monoxide can be fatal. According to the NHS, “every year there are around 60 deaths from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning in England and Wales. After carbon monoxide is breathed in, it enters your bloodstream and mixes with haemoglobin (the part of red blood cells that carry oxygen around your body) to form carboxyhaemoglobin. When this happens, the blood is no longer able to carry oxygen, and this lack of oxygen causes the body’s cells and tissue to fail and die.“ Carbon monoxide is produced when carbon-based fuels such as gas, oil, coal, and wood do not burn fully. The most common sources of carbon monoxide in homes include incorrectly installed or poorly maintained household appliances such as gas boilers and cookers, and wood-burning stoves. Since 2010, PART J of the BUILDING REGULATIONS have required that carbon monoxide alarms be fitted in homes when solid fuel burning appliances such as wood burning stoves are installed. In 2015 the SMOKE AND CARBON MONOXIDE ALARM (ENGLAND) REGULATIONS made it a requirement for all private rented sector landlords in England to install carbon monoxide alarms in properties having solid fuel appliances. Furthermore, in 2018 the UK government launched a review to determine whether the requirements should be extended to include the installation of oil and gas boilers, in addition to solid fuel appliances.

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