Carbon Monoxide from Solid Fuel
Carbon monoxide is produced when ANY fuel is burned including wood and coal.
Carbon monoxide is silent, invisible, tasteless, odourless and it kills people.
This is one of the reasons why lining your chimney is so important. In an unlined chimney, hairline cracks can appear anywhere the whole length of the chimney, so a property may have carbon monoxide from solid fuel leaking into it in the room where the appliance is, in a bedroom above or even in the loft. You can’t see it, smell it, taste it or hear it, and the potential consequences of it leaking into your home don’t bear thinking about.
On 1st October 2010 it became a legal requirement per Document J, Building Regulations that where a new or replacement fixed solid fuel appliance is installed in a dwelling that a carbon monoxide detector must be provided for use in the room where the appliance is.
As well as having one of these detectors, it’s important your stove or woodburner is fitted by a HETAS registered installer, you have your chimney swept regularly, your stove serviced annually and any ventilation fitted kept clear. Obviously all services Green Man Stoves are delighted to provide! We also sell carbon monoxide alarms in our showroom.
A headache is the most common symptom of carbon monoxide poisoning. Other common symptoms include:
- dizziness and nausea (feeling sick)
- vomiting (being sick)
- tiredness and confusion
- stomach pain
- shortness of breath and difficulty breathing
Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can be similar to those of food poisoning and flu. However, unlike flu, carbon monoxide poisoning doesn’t cause a high temperature (fever). Your symptoms may be less severe when you are away from the source of the carbon monoxide. The longer you inhale CO gas, the worse your symptoms will be. You may lose balance, vision and memory. Eventually, you may lose consciousness. This can happen within two hours if there is a lot of CO gas in the air.
However, symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can sometimes occur days or months after breathing in carbon monoxide and include:
- memory loss
- co-ordination problems
Certain people in your household may be affected by CO poisoning more quickly than others. Those at particular risk include:
- babies and young children
- pregnant women
- people with heart or breathing problems
Pets may be the first to show signs of carbon monoxide poisoning, the smaller an animal or a person is, the faster CO gas will affect them. If your pet suddenly becomes ill or dies unexpectedly, and death is not related to old age or an existing health condition, you should investigate the possibility of a CO leak.
We aren’t in the business of using scare tactics to pressure people into making a grudge purchase. However, carbon monoxide from solid fuel is a clear and present danger. Your stove, your chimney is likely to be in the centre of all you hold most dear – your home, your family, your pets, your possessions, your memories. This is not a danger which can be exaggerated. Terrible things do happen, and you need all the knowledge possible in order to make informed decisions as to how you keep your loved ones safe. We have this knowledge and will be only too pleased to help you understand what you need to do.
Scary lecture over – now go and have a look at some lovely pictures of stoves!