You may not think an open fire or a solid fuel stove can pose a danger of carbon monoxide fumes. So let me enlighten you...
It is a lesser known fact that blocked chimneys or flues allow carbon monoxide to seep into your home and badly affect your health - or even kill you.
Badly fitted pot causing back pressure and harmful fume emissions into room.
Open fires, stoves or oil boilers with chimneys or flues that are:
Bird's nest removed from chimney
Common causes of blocked chimneys:
Chimneys and flues allow carbon monoxide to invade living spaces without you knowing it.
It has no smell or colour so you won't know it's there.The only clue will be that you or members of your family will feel unwell. At higher concentrations CO will cause you to collapse and possibly die.
Carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms can be hard to recognize and diagnose. The symptoms differ from person to person even in the same household where carbon monoxide (CO) is present in high amounts.
The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can be explained by many other common and minor conditions like cold, flu, tiredness, lack of sleep, food poisoning, or more serious conditions like heart problems.
So let me show you some symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning:
The children and the elderly are at higher risk than healthy adults.
If you or other people in the house are suffering any of the symptoms mentioned above, you might be at risk of CO poisoning.
A real life story:
I was asked to sweep the chimney of an oil Aga Rayburn type vaporising room heater in a farmhouse kitchen. Some potentially dangerous problems were identified.
A few months later I met the customer and she was keen to explain that for years she had been unwell; undergone numerous hospital tests.
Since the problems with her kitchen range had been solved she no longer needed medication and her symptoms had not returned.
And there's more...
A similar case involving a gentleman who was constantly feeling ill and attending hospital regularly called me after his symptoms vanished whilst on holiday. I found in his radiant gas fire chimney a bird nest. He was in the habit of dozing in front of the fire after work!
stop using the appliance
open windows and doors to ventilate the rooms
call the emergency service for your appliance, if gas powered
get your chimney or flue cleaned and checked
get the appliances tested
get your blood or breath tested within 4 hours of suspected exposure
install a carbon monoxide detector alarm
A blood or breath test can come back as falsely negative, if the person has been out in the open air or sitting in a GP's surgery for some hours, so it is vital to have the test done within four hours of being in the affected premises.
Doctors are generally not very good at diagnosing low level carbon monoxide poisoning and do not often ask the right questions to establish if you are using a gas, oil, or solid fuel appliance in your home and will often look for other causes. You should mention what you suspect, to get your doctor to do the right tests.
All content within the Ablesweep website is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. Ablesweep is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made by a user based on the content of the Ablesweep website.
We do work in the following areas:
Lanarkshire North and South, Glasgow, Edinburgh, West Lothian, Midlothian, Scottish Borders, Dumfries and Galloway.