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NOW CLOSED How much do you know about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning? Talk to Sprue Safety Products - you could win a £150 voucher

(153 Posts)
KatieBMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 28-May-12 11:14:01

The makers of FireAngel carbon monoxide alarms, (Sprue Safety Products), would like to find out how aware Mumsnetters are of the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. It's a topic you may know a lot or a little about.

They say "With the Jubilee celebrations and half term break coming up, we expect that many families will be heading off to enjoy an extended bank holiday - either under canvas, in a caravan or in other self catering accommodation. The recent tragic death of a teenage girl on a campsite in Shropshire has raised the profile of carbon monoxide poisoning - but we are interested to know whether parents understand the potentially fatal dangers of bringing a barbecue inside a tent or the risks that a faulty boiler poses?"

Sprue Safety Products is hoping to raise awareness of this issue with this thread and to generate discussion about how parents treat holiday accommodation (and how aware you are of CO safety in your own home). So please have a read of the questions below and a think about this topic and share your thoughts, stories and experiences.


How aware are you of the dangers of CO poisoning?
Do you take any precautions to prevent CO poisoning in your own home?
How about on holiday, do you take the same level of care in tents/caravans/self catering accommodation as you do in your own home? Do you have some kind of safety checklist?
If so, what steps do you take towards protecting you and your family from CO poisoning?

They would also like to find out your level of knowledge about the effects of CO poisoning:

What do you think the signs of CO poisoning are?
Would you be able to recognise these signs?
Would you/do you take a CO alarm on holiday with you?

And also about education for families of this topic:
Would you like more information on how to prevent CO poisoning in your own home or when on holiday?
What information would you like and how would you like this information to be available?


Everyone who adds their comments to this thread will be entered into a prize draw where one winner will receive a £150 Amazon voucher, and 5 runners up will receive a portable, 7 year life FireAngel CO-9X carbon monoxide alarm.

More information on the dangers of CO poisoning and how to prevent it can be found here.

Thanks and good luck with the prize draw.

MNHQ

+++++++

(A message from Sprue Safety Products, added later in the thread and reposted here for clarity)

"Thank you all for taking part in this discussion and sharing your knowledge of carbon monoxide - and the alarming experiences some of you have had.

We would like to make it absolutely clear that in no way are we saying it is safe to burn anything inside a tent, as long as you have a carbon monoxide alarm. It is not. This discussion is designed to find out how aware mumsnetters are of the potentially fatal dangers of CO in any accommodation.

A barbecue should NEVER be taken inside a tent, awning, caravan or motorhome. A warm, smouldering barbecue will give off poisonous CO, which can kill quickly and without warning, as it has no smell or taste. And NEVER place a lit barbecue near the sleeping area outside your tent/awning."

Olympia2012 Mon 28-May-12 11:21:19

The threat of Carbon Monoxide poisoning is how I got to be living here in my brand new home. Due to overcrowding I was sleeping in the lounge of my former home, which had a gas fire in it. I mentioned it to the housing association I rented from and they told me it is dangerous. It was mentioned that sleeping in any room leading on from a room with a gas appliance is dangerous

I hadn't realised. And who knew it isn't mandatory for HA houses ( not sure about other rented properties) to fit a simple carbon monoxide alarm!? Apparently, a yearly service is all that's required!

Anyway, I went out and bought my own immediately. I was quite horrified imagining my children coming downstairs to find me ill or worse, dead.

I got moved here fairly quickly. And there is a carbon monoxide alarm fitted, thankfully. Feel safe now.

ShatnersBassoon Mon 28-May-12 11:34:28

We have two carbon monoxide alarms in our house, one upstairs and one downstairs. We have a gas boiler and a solid fuel stove, and we know that there is a risk of leaking carbon monoxide from both of these.

I must admit that I am less careful on holiday, and wouldn't think to check that there was a carbon monoxide detector in the accommodation. I would still be cautious of gas appliances though, and wouldn't let anyone sleep in the same room as one. I think I might take one of our alarms with us when we go away this summer though, now I have been forced to consider it! So thank you for that smile

I believe the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can be headaches, feeling confused/sleepy and feeling nauseous.

TheRhubarb Mon 28-May-12 11:36:01

I'd like to think that I'm fairly aware of the dangers of CO poisoning. We have an open fire in the living room that burns wood and coal. We ensure the chimney is swept every year and we have a CO detector in this room too.

When on holiday in a tent or caravan we always place the BBQ away from our accommodation. In fact more often than not the sites usually provide a communal BBQ which we use but if doing our own then we make sure it's away from where we are sleeping as I'm also paranoid about fires too. I never considered getting CO from a BBQ. I'd never allow one into the tent or caravan because of my fear of fire but until the recent news cases of people being poisoned in this way, I was pretty ignorant about it.

As far as I am aware, the signs of CO poisoning are flu-like symptoms. Sickness, grogginess, headaches and a general feeling of being unwell which clears up once you are out of the room. More severe symptoms can be a sense of disorientation and confusion. Hopefully I would recognise these signs but my first thoughts would probably be food poisoning rather than CO poisoning.

No we don't take a CO alarm on holiday but if we were going somewhere with an open fire then I might consider this.

Yes there should be more information about this. You often let your guard down whilst on holiday and tbh whilst we might make sure that our open fire is safe at home, if we stayed in a holiday cottage or gite, we don't normally ask when they last had their chimney swept or gas fires maintained. So I do think that more could be done to educate people as to the dangers. This could be on TV and in newspapers, like the campaign around smoke alarms.

My brother is a plumber and he fits a co alarm with every gas appliance he fits because he is only too aware of the dangers. He also tries to make sure all his friends and family have monitors too. When we moved our housewarming gift was an alarm.

If I'm honest I had never thought about checking the cottages where we have stayed before. But now I am aware of it I will be looking into whether a portable alarm is available for us to buy.

From my first aid training I believe the signs of co poisoning are things like a headache, fluey symptoms, tiredness which could be mistaken for many different things. This is why I think it is so dangerous.

CMOTDibbler Mon 28-May-12 11:47:07

I'm very aware of CO poisoning - a friend nearly died and has had severe long term issues following CO poisoning.
We have two CO monitors at home, and take one away with us. When camping, we only cook outside the tent and would never bring anything inside.

We bought a CO alarm when we had a coal effect gas fire installed about 10 years ago. We have also got a woodburner and a gas boiler, the CO alarm is at the bottom of the stairs fairly close to the latter two items (we virtually never use the gas fire now) and we check it every month along with the smoke alarms. We get the boiler serviced every year and keep the chimney swept. One of my earliest recollections of knowing about it when was when Coronation Street ran a storyline about it many years ago.

I have read of several cases of disposable BBQs causing CO poisoning in tents. We have never taken one inside our tent and we don't use the gas stove in there either. I have never taken a CO monitor to a holiday cottage/caravan, but it has been at the back of my mind to get one and put it on our holiday packing list.

I think the symptoms are nausea, tiredness, unconsciousness.

I do think there should be greater awareness, in the same way as we are reminded constantly about smoke alarms by adverts, mentions of it on the news whenever there is an incident, maybe gas companies could give them out to people on low incomes in the same way as the fire service provide smoke alarms. They should be compulsory in all rental properties.

I am aware of Carbon Monoxide poisoning, and know that it is odourless and colourless. Symptoms of headache, confusion, tiredness and generally feeling yuk can indicate CO posoining, but it is tricky as those symptoms could be for many other illness.

We have our boiler serviced annually along with our gas fire and have just recently got a CO alarm.

To be honest I have never really thought about it when on holiday, in a tent or cottage and I suppose you just assume that those places are safe. blush

More needs to be done to educate people, especially since the tragedy of the camping family.

Blu Mon 28-May-12 12:07:10

I am becoming more aware, generally after hearing about tragedies sad

I am not really sure what forms of burning can generate CO and which can't, but I would never have a BBQ or lit gas appliance in our tent anyway, due to fire risk. We recently stayed on a friend's boat and they had a wood burning stove oin the cabin - I went round and opened every ventilation hatch befpre we went to bed even though it was freezing.

I don't really know what signs of CO poisoning are - red cheeks and lips? My instinct would be to get to fresh air with any unelplianed headache or wooziness anyway.

We haven't got CO detectors at home - we have 2 old gas boilers, one for water, pne for heating, and we have them serviced every year, but CO detectors will be my next purchase, I think. But I am very ignorant. I wouldn't know how best to install them - and doesn't CO sink to the ground? Do they need installing at ground level? confused

I would take CO detector on holiday
I would like one for camping
Yes, I would like onfo to be available - I think holiday companies should give the info and explain the devices they provide in accommodation, I would like house purchases to include a survey of CO risk, and good clear TV oublic info ads are quite effective, too. People just don't know about CO dangers, but we all have SO much info to take in. Leaflets get lost.

Ineedadollar Mon 28-May-12 12:09:58

I'm aware of the dangers and the symptoms of poisoning. I have a portable monitor in my home and take it on holiday with us. I am the only person I know who does this.

fallingandlaughing Mon 28-May-12 12:19:00

How aware are you of the dangers of CO poisoning?

I would say very aware. I have worked with people with severe brain damage due to Carbon Monoxide Poisoning. it is devastating.

Do you take any precautions to prevent CO poisoning in your own home?

We have an alarm near the gas boiler. I think when DD moves into her own room I'll get an alarm for there too. Maybe not necessary but can't do any harm to be well covered.

*How about on holiday, do you take the same level of care in tents/caravans/self catering accommodation as you do in your own home? Do you have some kind of safety checklist?
If so, what steps do you take towards protecting you and your family from CO poisoning?*

Wouldn't use a potentially CO emitting device in a tent. Haven't stayed in a caravan as an adult. Haven't stayed in self-catering which has gas appliances, but am now thinking we should get a portable alarm just in case we go an stay somewhere that there is a risk.

*What do you think the signs of CO poisoning are?
Would you be able to recognise these signs?
Would you/do you take a CO alarm on holiday with you?*

I think the main signs are headache, drowsiness and flushed cheeks, there may be more. I think/hope I would recognise these. I'd rather rely on an alarm though!

Haven't taken an alarm on holiday but now thinking it would be a good idea.

*And also about education for families of this topic:
Would you like more information on how to prevent CO poisoning in your own home or when on holiday?
What information would you like and how would you like this information to be available?*

Further education on this could never be a bad thing. Would be good to have it online eg holiday review sites and in with purchases like tents or camping stoves.

TheRhubarb Mon 28-May-12 12:37:50

Blu, yes CO sinks to the ground. You can buy CO detectors from B&Q or any other DIY store more or less. It needs to be some distance away from a gas appliance, so the other side of the room would do and it needs to be fixed quite low down. We have ours on our bottom bookshelf but you can fix it to the wall. It looks just like a smoke detector and works in the same way. Installing one is just as easy.

sis Mon 28-May-12 12:42:13

How aware are you of the dangers of CO poisoning? reasonably aware
Do you take any precautions to prevent CO poisoning in your own home? we have alarms
How about on holiday, do you take the same level of care in tents/caravans/self catering accommodation as you do in your own home? Do you have some kind of safety checklist? no
If so, what steps do you take towards protecting you and your family from CO poisoning?

What do you think the signs of CO poisoning are? people look healthy and slightly flushed
Would you be able to recognise these signs? probably not
Would you/do you take a CO alarm on holiday with you? yes, if it was small and light

And also about education for families of this topic:
Would you like more information on how to prevent CO poisoning in your own home or when on holiday? yes
What information would you like and how would you like this information to be available? leaflet with checklist

I am aware of the existence of CO poisoning, but it is rarely mentioned in the media where I live. Getting an alarm for my home has been on my to do list for ages. Reading the other answers above makes me pretty ashamed i didn't alreDy do something about it.

Only too aware now - a guy on our Uni course died through a faulty gas lamp when camping - his daughter found him dead in morning. A few couple of years ago now but still shocking when someone your own age dies in such a tragic but avoidable way.

How aware are you of the dangers of CO poisoning? VERY
Do you take any precautions to prevent CO poisoning in your own home? Have an alarm by boiler but not by woodburner - know they need lots of flow, which it has but the alarms are very bulky and not neat / easy to install where they should...
How about on holiday, do you take the same level of care in tents/caravans/self catering accommodation as you do in your own home? Do you have some kind of safety checklist? no
If so, what steps do you take towards protecting you and your family from CO poisoning?

What do you think the signs of CO poisoning are? people look healthy and slightly flushed
Would you be able to recognise these signs? probably not
Would you/do you take a CO alarm on holiday with you? yes, if it was small and light

And also about education for families of this topic:
Would you like more information on how to prevent CO poisoning in your own home or when on holiday? yes
What information would you like and how would you like this information to be available? leaflet with checklist

heliumballoon Mon 28-May-12 12:49:40

How aware are you of the dangers of CO poisoning?
Very aware. It is something which has bothered me since I read about it on MN actually. I remember one particular MNetter on Chat urging others to buy an alarm after a near miss in her home.

Do you take any precautions to prevent CO poisoning in your own home?
This is where it comes across that I am a total idiot. We had an alarm and it was one of those spot ones and then it ran out and we never bought another. I asked DH to buy one last time he went to Homebase actually as we have a new baby but he forgot. For some reason CO alarms aren't in the public consciousness like fire alarms.

I do get the boiler serviced though. The company writes and reminds us annually.

<And we're idiots about fire alarms- ours currently has the battery out as it kept going off whenever I cooked. Must go and put it back in actually>

How about on holiday, do you take the same level of care in tents/caravans/self catering accommodation as you do in your own home? Do you have some kind of safety checklist?
Nope. Assumed legislation would take care of this.

What do you think the signs of CO poisoning are?
Headache is the biggest one. You hear of people feeling crap for weeks and then it is put down to their boiler. Then, if it's severe, you lose consciousness. That's why it's so dangerous as you can just go to sleep and not wake up.

Would you be able to recognise these signs?
Maybe. If the whole family had them I might think something was up.

Would you/do you take a CO alarm on holiday with you?
Nope. We travel by train- enough already!

And also about education for families of this topic:

Would you like more information on how to prevent CO poisoning in your own home or when on holiday?
I think I know what the problem is. It's about being prodded into doing something about it. And the alarms with batteries in seem quite expensive. And ugly. We live in a small flat with low ceilings and the combination of the two alarms looks ugly. Could I put it right by the boiler though in the cupboard? Or would it need to cover a leak from the gas cooker too? <thinks>

OhDoAdmitMrsDeVere Mon 28-May-12 12:53:03

I am very aware but I knew NOTHING about the dangers of co poisoning from neighbouring properties.
I heard a mother tell how she found her son dead after the next door's boiler leaked through the brickwork.
So no matter how well your own appliances are maintained you must always have an alarm

OhDoAdmitMrsDeVere Mon 28-May-12 12:56:48

Sleepiness, headaches, flu symptoms
I would be aware of them but it is not easy to tell the difference between them and a virus.
Always take an alarm with me.
We need more info. It needs to me at saturation level the way road safety was in the 70 s

TheMightyMojoceratops Mon 28-May-12 13:05:15

How aware are you of the dangers of CO poisoning?
I am pretty aware after hearing stories of near-misses in badly maintained student accomodation whilst at university.

Do you take any precautions to prevent CO poisoning in your own home?
Yes, we have a carbon monoxide alarm near our fire/boiler.

How about on holiday, do you take the same level of care in tents/caravans/self catering accommodation as you do in your own home? Do you have some kind of safety checklist?
No, it wouldn't cross my mind to be honest, though I realise (now) it should do.

If so, what steps do you take towards protecting you and your family from CO poisoning?
We've got a FireAngel CO90 so I should take that with us really.

They would also like to find out your level of knowledge about the effects of CO poisoning:

What do you think the signs of CO poisoning are?
Tiredness, nausea, headaches, lethargy.
Would you be able to recognise these signs?
I think so...
Would you/do you take a CO alarm on holiday with you?
No, but I will do in future!

And also about education for families of this topic:
Would you like more information on how to prevent CO poisoning in your own home or when on holiday?
The holiday info would be useful.
What information would you like and how would you like this information to be available?
We usually do self-catered and in kitchens they always have fire extinguishers and the fire regs on display, something similar for carbon monoxide would be useful, or something very visible saying how recently equipment was checked and how old the alarm is if they have one.

deepfriedcupcake Mon 28-May-12 13:07:08

I'm aware of CO, how it's colourless, odourless and poisonous but wasn't aware / didn't quite remember that it sinks until coverage of the recent tragic camping trip.

We don't have any monitors in our current (owned) home but have the boiler and gas fire serviced reasonably regularly. I think remember there being something about the colour of the flame if the boiler's not burning right. I know some of the symptoms, mainly headaches, though would probably assume these were down to a cold or something rather than CO poisoning.

We have always made sure the boiler is serviced annually in rented houses and have requested to see the certificate. It would be good if a CO monitor in rented homes was common / good practice.

We camp regularly but always keep the bbq (if we use one) downwind, away from the tent, though that's more because my brother managed to burn a tent once (with no one in it thankfully). A leaflet or reminder on checking into campsites would be useful. A little monitor to keep in the tent could be good too, I should think most outdoor shops would be happy to stock something like that.

We don't check that the gas in cottages / hotels has been checked - mainly just assumme it's okay. I'd be uneasy about a boiler or gas fire being located in a bedroom and might then ask for confirmation that it's been serviced.

Kenmum Mon 28-May-12 13:09:24

The recent CO incidents in tents have been terrible, but I'd be wary of taking a CO monitor into a tent as the ones I've seen are only rated up to 90% humidity. Add a bit of rain and people sleeping inside and you'll easily get above this!

The key is to keep any fuel-burning kit out of a tent.

The Camping and Caravanning Club has some useful advice online at www.campingandcaravannninclub.co.uk/COleaflet

Ingles2 Mon 28-May-12 13:19:10

How aware are you of the dangers of CO poisoning?
Very aware,.. I have a fire angel alarm in my home.
Do you take any precautions to prevent CO poisoning in your own home?
Yep.. we have an oil fired boiler, 2 wood burning stoves and an open fire, so am aware they are plenty of risks. We have had our alarm go off before when we had smoke seeping back in to the room because the chimney cowl was blocked with leaves.
How about on holiday, do you take the same level of care in tents/caravans/self catering accommodation as you do in your own home? Do you have some kind of safety checklist?
No we don't. We camp but have never and would never take any sort of fire / lamp / stove into the tent mainly for the fire risk.
If so, what steps do you take towards protecting you and your family from CO poisoning?
We are going to Turkey this summer and I'm planning on taking an alarm with us.

They would also like to find out your level of knowledge about the effects of CO poisoning:

What do you think the signs of CO poisoning are?
Headaches, lethargy, general flu symptons
Would you be able to recognise these signs?
yes, if it happened to a group, less likely individually
Would you/do you take a CO alarm on holiday with you? see above

And also about education for families of this topic:
Would you like more information on how to prevent CO poisoning in your own home or when on holiday?
Yes
What information would you like and how would you like this information to be available?
more safety campaigns / leaflets.
I have got a cheeky question for Sprue please... The beep on my FireAngel alarm is really quiet,... is that correct? I can hear it, but it is unlikely to wake me up in the middle of the night.
It is Carbon Monoxide Alarm Type B CO9B
Batch 090713

Glabella Mon 28-May-12 13:24:31

How aware are you of the dangers of CO poisoning?
Quite aware- I'm medical so have seen several cases, and there's regularly cases in the news.
Do you take any precautions to prevent CO poisoning in your own home?
We have an alarm and regularly check/service our gas appliances.
How about on holiday, do you take the same level of care in tents/caravans/self catering accommodation as you do in your own home? Do you have some kind of safety checklist?
We're very careful in tents/caravans about stoves and bbq's, but haven't checked in self catering accomodation.
If so, what steps do you take towards protecting you and your family from CO poisoning?
We always cook well away from the tent, and in the caravan use the gas stove quite rarely with lots of ventilation.

They would also like to find out your level of knowledge about the effects of CO poisoning:

What do you think the signs of CO poisoning are?
Nausea, tiredness, dizziness, headaches, feeling generally unwell, followed by vomiting, headache, unconsciousness and death.
Would you be able to recognise these signs?
I'd hope so, yes.
Would you/do you take a CO alarm on holiday with you?
Probably when camping.

And also about education for families of this topic:
Would you like more information on how to prevent CO poisoning in your own home or when on holiday?
A leaflet given out at campsites, or with stoves/barbeques might be good.

latrucha Mon 28-May-12 13:33:22

How aware are you of the dangers of CO poisoning?
I am aware of it. I suppose I don't know how aware as I haven't really read up about it.
Do you take any precautions to prevent CO poisoning in your own home?
I have a Fire Angel alarm. I do worry I rely on it totally to make me aware of any danger. I'm not sure what else to do.
How about on holiday, do you take the same level of care in tents/caravans/self catering accommodation as you do in your own home? Do you have some kind of safety checklist?
We only go to grandparents' houses. I have never thought about taking the alarm. I don't think they have one.
If so, what steps do you take towards protecting you and your family from CO poisoning?

They would also like to find out your level of knowledge about the effects of CO poisoning:

What do you think the signs of CO poisoning are? Drowsiness. Generally unwell/ flulike. Unconsciousness and death.
Would you be able to recognise these signs? It would be easy to mistake any of them for something else.
Would you/do you take a CO alarm on holiday with you? I haven't done. I could do. Purs is very portable.

And also about education for families of this topic:
Would you like more information on how to prevent CO poisoning in your own home or when on holiday? I suppose so, now it has been brought to my attention.
What information would you like and how would you like this information to be available? I can look on the website you linked.

MustControlFistOfDeath Mon 28-May-12 13:41:21

I know about the dangers, sadly a gentleman passed away at the hotel in Cornwall we were staying at for DPs birthday weekend sad.

We arrived on the Friday lunchtime, made our way out for the afternoon then as we were getting ready to go out felt really tired/drowsy/headachy but just put it down to the travelling/sea air etc. When we were out for the evening we were both fine.

We both woke up next morning with headaches, put it down to a bit too much alcohol the night before, went out for the day. Back in the room later, same thing - tired etc to the point we thought we were coming down with something and almost didn't go out for the evening.

Got back to the hotel Sat night to be met by fire service, hotel management, paramedics - hotel was evacuated due to the poor chap being found dead in his room.

Our room had 2 sash-style windows, and we had left them open the whole time (due to both of us smoking at the time blush - hotel was non-smoking) and I'm very glad we did.

We haven't been on holiday since but would absolutely take an alarm with us.

chrisrobin Mon 28-May-12 13:41:34

How aware are you of the dangers of CO poisoning? Fairly aware, the recent tragic events have made me more aware of it though
Do you take any precautions to prevent CO poisoning in your own home? We do not have gas at home
How about on holiday, do you take the same level of care in tents/caravans/self catering accommodation as you do in your own home? Do you have some kind of safety checklist? We have a CO detector in our motorhome although it is not one with an alarm, I will look at changing this though.
If so, what steps do you take towards protecting you and your family from CO poisoning? The gas is only switched on when in use, which is rare. Otherwise it is always turned off at both the bottle and the appliance supply pipe. We also use an extractor fan whenever the gas hob is on.

What do you think the signs of CO poisoning are? A headache and flushed cheeks
Would you be able to recognise these signs? Probably not, I would put them down to having a busy day.
Would you/do you take a CO alarm on holiday with you? Not an alarm, a detector, but this will change and we will get an alarm before going away again.

Would you like more information on how to prevent CO poisoning in your own home or when on holiday? I am about to go and search the web for more info
What information would you like and how would you like this information to be available? What type of alarm is best for a motorhome, where it should be placed, how to recognise symptoms. It would be good to have a pocket sized symptoms checklist card.

ZuzuBailey Mon 28-May-12 13:52:48

Our gas boiler is in a cupboard in my (adult) son's bedroom.

This has always worried me but we've been told it's perfectly safe.

I have it serviced every year and DS checks it regularly for anything obvious like soot marks or a different colour flame.

There is a CO alarm beside it, along with a smoke alarm.

What I didn't realise until fairly recently, is that CO alarms have an expiry date on them.

ZuzuBailey Mon 28-May-12 13:53:36

I second the symptoms checklist card chrisrobin

Me too, we have always had a meningitis symptoms checklist stuck on our fridge door, a CO poisoning one would be a very good idea.

An0therName Mon 28-May-12 14:12:05

How aware are you of the dangers of CO poisoning?
Quite -
Do you take any precautions to prevent CO poisoning in your own home?
we have a CO alarm near the boiler
How about on holiday, do you take the same level of care in tents/caravans/self catering accommodation as you do in your own home? Do you have some kind of safety checklist?
No not really
If so, what steps do you take towards protecting you and your family from CO poisoning?

hat do you think the signs of CO poisoning are?
dizness, head ache
Would you be able to recognise these signs?
maybe, maybe not
Would you/do you take a CO alarm on holiday with you?
I don't but its a good idea

And also about education for families of this topic:
Would you like more information on how to prevent CO poisoning in your own home or when on holiday?
Yes - would be very happy to have -
What information would you like and how would you like this information to be available?
a safty card very good idea

klaxon Mon 28-May-12 14:18:33

Sheesh, wrote long answer and Internet connection went down.

I don't know enough about it - we have carbon monoxide detectors in the house and I know most people get no symptoms but if they do it's headaches, tiredness (fairly normal for parents so how would you know).

I think all smoke detectors should have to have CO detectors in too.

ThoughtBen10WasBadPokemonOMG Mon 28-May-12 14:20:32

We don't have a CO2 alarm and we don't have the boiler serviced regularly so we should. I wouldn't think about it on holiday - and we should. I know the CO2 poisoning causes headaches and light headedness.

JessCartandahorse Mon 28-May-12 14:20:44

We moved into a new house and I became ill and was signed of work for quite a long time with an undiagnosed "virus". Co-incidentally we got the boiler serviced. The gasman said I was two weeks away from never waking up in the morning again - turns out I was experiencing CO poisoning. A lucky escape and we have been more careful ever since. Sadly a Dad at school actually died of CO poisoning.

We have a CO monitor near our boiler and one near our gas fire in the living room.

I've never thought about taking it to a holiday cottage but it would be sensible, I guess, to take the monitor with us.

So symptoms can look like a viral infection/flu. Headaches, sickness, feeling spaced out and woozy. I guess if you are near death your heart and lungs are affected.

MNHQ, I hope at some stage you will add to this thread a thorough list of symptoms and advice on prevention. smile

TimeForMeAndDD Mon 28-May-12 14:23:38

I am very aware of carbon monoxide poisoning and the symptoms and this is something that does concern me, due to the symptoms being easily mistaken for something else. We live in a local authority property which has two excellent smoke alarms but no carbon monoxide monitor, even though the council run a campaign raising awareness. I do think the monitors should be fitted as standard, like the smoke alarms, to rental properties.

I have a gas fire which I do not use. I stick to the central heating. The boiler is in the outbuilding attached to the side of the house but I still worry as to the safety and it is something I am going to be seeking assurance on when the boiler is next serviced. We holiday in a caravan which has a carbon monoxide alarm in the lounge so this does give me peace of mind.

I also think a symptom check list would be a good idea.

LemarchandsBox Mon 28-May-12 14:34:26

How aware are you of the dangers of CO poisoning?
Very aware
Do you take any precautions to prevent CO poisoning in your own home?
CO monitors next to the boiler and the two gas fires
How about on holiday, do you take the same level of care in tents/caravans/self catering accommodation as you do in your own home?
Take portable CO monitor with us to holiday cottages. Only rent from reputable companies and check the Safety Cets when we arive

Do you have some kind of safety checklist?
No, apart from the above
If so, what steps do you take towards protecting you and your family from CO poisoning?

What do you think the signs of CO poisoning are?
Feeling dizzy, tired, nauseous
Would you be able to recognise these signs?
Yes
Would you/do you take a CO alarm on holiday with you?
Yes

How aware are you of the dangers of CO poisoning?
Fairly aware, I think.

Do you take any precautions to prevent CO poisoning in your own home?
We have an outside-venting gas boiler and a gas cooker with an extractor hood, which are serviced yearly by a GasSafe engineer. We have been meaning to get a CO detector but haven't yet. This thread is the kick up the backside we have needed.

How about on holiday, do you take the same level of care in tents/caravans/self catering accommodation as you do in your own home? Do you have some kind of safety checklist? If so, what steps do you take towards protecting you and your family from CO poisoning?
We take more care, to be honest. We tend to assume our home is 'safe' but double check holiday accommodation. Our caravan has good ventilation and the gas boiler and fire are serviced yearly, and we never use naked flames or BBQ's in the caravan or tent.

They would also like to find out your level of knowledge about the effects of CO poisoning:
What do you think the signs of CO poisoning are?
Would you be able to recognise these signs?
Would you/do you take a CO alarm on holiday with you?

Signs of CO poisoning are, as far as I remember, headache, confusion and flu-like symptoms. I think I probably would recognise these signs, but only if everyone was affected - if only one person was affected I'd think it was illness. We don't take a CO alarm with us on holiday, to be honest I'd never even thought about that.

And also about education for families of this topic:
Would you like more information on how to prevent CO poisoning in your own home or when on holiday?
What information would you like and how would you like this information to be available?

I tend to browse the leaflets and read the posters in the doctor's waiting room, so that would be an ideal place to put information.

ouryve Mon 28-May-12 14:54:18

We have a carbon monoxide alarm. Our only gas appliance is the boiler which is now in the kitchen and we have that serviced and checked for emissions annually (actually, must get on with that).

We know an alarm is important, since CO is odourless and flavourless and can't be seen. I know enough about the mechanism to CO poisoning to be quite wary, since, if you're lucky, you'll feel unwell for a while and have chance to check out the cause, but not everyone is that lucky.

We rarely go on holiday and never camping, so can't comment on that aspect.

nextphase Mon 28-May-12 15:54:10

How aware are you of the dangers of CO poisoning? I know its toxic.
Do you take any precautions to prevent CO poisoning in your own home? We have a monitor - except its still in its packet awaiting installation.

How about on holiday, do you take the same level of care in tents/caravans/self catering accommodation as you do in your own home? Do you have some kind of safety checklist? never thought about it, makes sense tho.
If so, what steps do you take towards protecting you and your family from CO poisoning?

What do you think the signs of CO poisoning are? nausea, tiredness
Would you be able to recognise these signs? probably not
Would you/do you take a CO alarm on holiday with you? we ought to. Needs to be very portable, tho

And also about education for families of this topic:
Would you like more information on how to prevent CO poisoning in your own home or when on holiday? yes
What information would you like and how would you like this information to be available? leaflet with checklist

MelKM Mon 28-May-12 16:50:22

I am one third of a carbon monoxide awareness group called CO Angels. Each of us have lost someone to this silent killer and I can honestly say it is one of the worst things that can happen to any family.

And what is even more frustrating is that a 20 pound carbon monoxide alarm could have saved my brother. He left behind three children. Today he is now a grandfather of two little girls, who sadly he will never know.

I cannot urge everyone on this forum enough, to get an audible carbon monoxide alarm, and a spare for camping trips etc. I was 13 when my brother died and I still recall the moment I found out like it was yesterday. That pain has never left me, but I'm learning to cope with it 13 years on this year.

My brother was loved by everyone and was always smiling. He really made our lives brighter when he was in it. He died from a faulty gas grill one night after putting bread under the grill to make toast. He went to sleep and never woke up.

Aside from getting gas appliances check, chimneys swept and other fossil fuel appliances serviced my only message to you all is please please please, invest in an audible alarm and fit it in your home immediately! It may seems like a hassle and a fair bit of money, but I promise you, you will never regret having bought it because one day, it could save your life.

Mel

www.co-angels.co.uk

How aware are you of the dangers of CO poisoning? -- I know it's fatal.

Do you take any precautions to prevent CO poisoning in your own home? We have a CO alarm.

How about on holiday, do you take the same level of care in tents/caravans/self catering accommodation as you do in your own home? Do you have some kind of safety checklist? ---Shamefully, it's not even something we think of, however I will do now, thank you.

If so, what steps do you take towards protecting you and your family from CO poisoning? ----n/a

They would also like to find out your level of knowledge about the effects of CO poisoning:

What do you think the signs of CO poisoning are? --- shamefully, I don't know.

Would you be able to recognise these signs? --- ummm, no.

Would you/do you take a CO alarm on holiday with you? --- I would now.

And also about education for families of this topic:
Would you like more information on how to prevent CO poisoning in your own home or when on holiday? --- YES PLEASE.

What information would you like and how would you like this information to be available? The basics, via email. I can then do further research myself for a more detail.

I would like to say thank you for this survey as it has really hit me between the eyes how CO ignorant I am blush. We have an alarm but that is where it starts and end for me.

Sparkles23 Mon 28-May-12 17:10:56

I am quite aware of carbon monoxide poisoning, mainly due to the sad stories that have been publicised. It was the camp site story that spurred me to go and buy one, I only have on downstairs at the mo but I know should have one on each level and if you only do have one that it should be near bedrooms (ours isn't as would mean mounting to wall and haven't got round to it). I know carbon monoxide is odourless and symptoms are tiredness, dizziness and vomiting. I would like to see more awareness and perhaps a tv campaign so one day people consider them an essential purchase along with smoke alarms.

Slubberdegullion Mon 28-May-12 17:18:36

I am aware of the dangers of CO poisoning and the symptoms related to it.

We have a CO alarm in our house next to the boiler.

With reference to the questions relating to prevention of CO poisoning while on holiday and particularly whilst camping in a tent I am somewhat perplexed and annoyed that this is an advert for CO alarms by way of a questionnaire and prizes. If you want to prevent people from dying of CO poising when they are in a tent then don't piss about with bloody alarms. DON'T COOK OR USE ANYTHING THAT BURNS FUEL INSIDE YOUR TENT.

Mnhq there have been numerous threads about this on the Camping Topic. Modern tents with sewn in ground sheets are nothing more than a large plastic bag (with a few doors thrown in). They are NOT safe to burn anything in (quite apart from the fire risk), unless they have a designated cooking area.
Would you sit your family inside a plastic bag, light a gas stove and think everything was tickety-boo because "hey look I have a nice CO alarm"?

This competition is sending out totally the wrong message to people who maybe thinking about going camping for the first time this year. It is NOT SAFE to cook inside your tent even with a CO alarm.
There is a long thread on ukcampsite forum on this subject where several posters have said that CO monitors are not suitable to use in tents anyway, that they are not designed for that particular purpose.

Raise awareness for using CO alarms in the home, in holiday cottages, in static caravans but please do not promote it along side the tragic deaths of tent campers.

Slubberdegullion Mon 28-May-12 17:39:29

Information on CO and BBQ safety from ukcampsite forum.

Paragraph on relying on CO alarms in a tent.

VivaLeBeaver Mon 28-May-12 17:40:54

I am aware of the dangers. I have a carbon monoxide alarm at home and we had one in our camper van as well. We tent camp now and I take one in the tent with us.

Never thought to take one with me to self catering accommodation though, maybe we should do.

I think that symptoms are headaches, nausea, feeling unwell.

VivaLeBeaver Mon 28-May-12 17:43:47

That's interesting Slubber. We've always cooked in our tent though tent doesn't have a SIG so is very draughty. Have got a new SIG tent now ad was planning on cooking in it though with an electric hob on ehu.

Slubberdegullion Mon 28-May-12 17:55:19

Electric hob fine (although still a fire risk wink) but anything that burns fuel has the potential risk of producing CO. I wouldn't want to rely on an alarm for the safety of my family if they were sitting or sleeping in a zipped up plastic bag.
Burn stuff outside your tent and you won't get CO poisoning. Simple.

Sorry, is a bug bear of mine if you hadn't noticed

PineappleBed Mon 28-May-12 17:56:46

Hmmm I know you can't smell carbonmonoxide and that it can effect you quickly. I think it makes you woozy first off and then you lose consciousness. I think it can cause permanent brain damage (?)

I have an alarm for the cooker but need two more for the gas fire and boiler.

I think you're meant to put the alarms slightly above the appliance they're there to monitor.

thequeensknickers Mon 28-May-12 18:12:41

How aware are you of the dangers of CO poisoning?
I am more aware than I was, following the sad deaths in the news recently.

Do you take any precautions to prevent CO poisoning in your own home?
We have a Co2 alarm fitted and the boiler is serviced yearly.

How about on holiday, do you take the same level of care in tents/caravans/self catering accommodation as you do in your own home? Do you have some kind of safety checklist?
Not before, but I will now. I did argue with DH last year as I felt uncomfortable cooking in the tent and found that I was right, but would rather have been wrong. We will never cook in the tent again,kitchen area or not.

If so, what steps do you take towards protecting you and your family from CO poisoning?
We will have a gazebo for cooking, not just outside the tent and a Co2 alarm.

They would also like to find out your level of knowledge about the effects of CO poisoning:

What do you think the signs of CO poisoning are?
I always thought headaches and drowsiness with heightened colour to the cheeks were possible signs.

Would you be able to recognise these signs?
Not sure.

Would you/do you take a CO alarm on holiday with you?
Absolutely.

And also about education for families of this topic:
Would you like more information on how to prevent CO poisoning in your own home or when on holiday?
Yes please!

What information would you like and how would you like this information to be available?
Leaflet/signposting to a good website. Maybe travel agents could put a leaflet in with holiday details.

CointreauVersial Mon 28-May-12 19:03:07

How aware are you of the dangers of CO poisoning?

Reasonably aware. I know if happens when there is insufficient ventilation for a boiler/gas heater etc. so that CO is produced instead of CO2. I know that it is colourless and odourless and have read many sad stories about people dying from poisoning.

Do you take any precautions to prevent CO poisoning in your own home?

Sorry to say, I don't, apart from the fact that our boiler is new and is regularly serviced. It is also well away from the bedrooms (at the far end of the kitchen). But I know I really ought to get a monitor.

How about on holiday, do you take the same level of care in tents/caravans/self catering accommodation as you do in your own home?

We never camp, but sometimes stay in chalets/self-catering. I'm ashamed to say I would never give it any thought.

Do you have some kind of safety checklist?

No

What do you think the signs of CO poisoning are?

This I do know - drowsiness, contant headaches, nausea. Funnily enough, my great aunt was suffering from just such symptoms, and I only found out about it during a chance discussion with my mother. I said "not CO poisoning, is it?" and, guess what, that's exactly what it turned out to be; she had a faulty gas fire. Luckily she was OK.

Would you be able to recognise these signs?

Well, I did in my great aunt, but who knows whether I'd recognise it in myself or my immediate family?

Would you/do you take a CO alarm on holiday with you?

Never thought about it before, but I think I'm going to in future.

FuntimeFelicity Mon 28-May-12 19:07:12

I'm a regular camper and know the dangers and symptoms of CO poisoning.

However, I've always understood that alarms are unreliable in tents and I'm a little concerned that they are being advertised here as the main safety precaution.

They ONLY ways to stay safe from CO poisoning are:
1) Do not cook inside your tent.
2) Do not take a BBQ (lit or unlit) into your tent.
3) Do not leave a BBQ just outside the door of your tent.
4) Do not use gas lamps inside your tent.

flamingtoaster Mon 28-May-12 19:21:30

How aware are you of the dangers of CO poisoning? Very - a friend and two of her children almost went unconscious with CO poisoning before she realized what was happening.

Do you take any precautions to prevent CO poisoning in your own home? I have a CO alarm.

How about on holiday, do you take the same level of care in tents/caravans/self catering accommodation as you do in your own home? Do you have some kind of safety checklist? Not something I have thought of until now - but in future I would take my CO alarm with me.

If so, what steps do you take towards protecting you and your family from CO poisoning? In future I will take my alarm with me.

They would also like to find out your level of knowledge about the effects of CO poisoning:

What do you think the signs of CO poisoning are? IF its a low level then it can be flu like symptoms - headache and generally feeling unwell. If high level then unconsciousness.

Would you be able to recognise these signs? I would hope so!

Would you/do you take a CO alarm on holiday with you? No but I will in future.

gazzalw Mon 28-May-12 19:47:41

Well we have the gas boiler in a cupboard in our bedroom so the first thing we did was spend a fortune on a carbon monoxide detector when we moved into our home. Particularly as the DCs co-slept with us when they were little - it would kill them at lower levels than it would us. It is because of the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning that my DW took out an annual service contract for our boiler.

DW insists on sleeping with the bedroom window open come rain or shine, year in year out, to ensure the carbon monoxide would escape but the British Gas Engineer who does the annual service on the boiler said that was a waste of time; apparently the carbon monoxide could escape via the flue and then waft back into the nearby open window. He also repositioned the detector from outside the cupboard to a shelf within it, saying it's more effective there.

In our locality we've heard of various high profile cases of children dying of carbon monoxide poisoning in rented desirable residences, so sadly whether you are rich or poor, no-one is exempt from this potential tragedy.

I know that symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can go on for some time before reaching levels to kill you or a family member. The symptoms are quite vague though, aren't they (tiredness, headaches, lethargy and general unwellness) which is why it is called the 'silent killer'. Also because carbon monoxide doesn't have a distinct smell

I think I would be quite circumspect about renting accommodation even on holiday without first checking that any boilers had been serviced by a registered engineer within the year. Also, aware of this because of people unnecessarily dying in holiday lets - although generally abroad rather than in the UK.

There have also been a couple of very recent tragedies involving disposable BBQs being used to provide additional heat in tents of a cold night. Not something that would ever have occurred to me but then we don't go camping. It is very sad that it takes tragic loss of life to flag up such dangers to the public.

Never really considered taking a CO alarm on holiday with us - but will certainly factor that in for future visits.

maxpower Mon 28-May-12 20:09:45

How aware are you of the dangers of CO poisoning?
I know it can be fatal and that children are particuallry vulnerable.

Do you take any precautions to prevent CO poisoning in your own home?
No but I know you need to ensure good ventilation around heating appliances.

How about on holiday, do you take the same level of care in tents/caravans/self catering accommodation as you do in your own home? Do you have some kind of safety checklist?
No, I would generally assume these were being taken care of by the provider (but I'm quite picky about holiday accommodation).

If so, what steps do you take towards protecting you and your family from CO poisoning?
If the boiler/fire/cooker looked dodgy or unkept, I'd probably try to avoid using it or call the owner/provider about it.

They would also like to find out your level of knowledge about the effects of CO poisoning:

What do you think the signs of CO poisoning are?
Headache, nausea, sleepiness.

Would you be able to recognise these signs?
I would hope so - children can be affected earlier than adults.

Would you/do you take a CO alarm on holiday with you?
No

And also about education for families of this topic:
Would you like more information on how to prevent CO poisoning in your own home or when on holiday?
I would seek it out for myself at home, but advice in holiday accommodation would be good.

What information would you like and how would you like this information to be available?
Information on what appliances in the property could produce CO, confirmation of last testing, result and when next test is due, who to contact if you're concerned about an appliance, signs of CO poisoining to look out for and what action to take.

MummyDoIt Mon 28-May-12 20:21:59

How aware are you of the dangers of CO poisoning? - I'm aware of the need to keep boilers and gas fires serviced.

Do you take any precautions to prevent CO poisoning in your own home? - I have my boiler serviced every year. We don't have a gas fire. I have no CO alarm but the boiler is in the garage so I don't think it's a risk.

How about on holiday, do you take the same level of care in tents/caravans/self catering accommodation as you do in your own home? Do you have some kind of safety checklist? - Don't take any precautions in rented accommodation. When camping, I only use the gas stove outside the tent, never inside.

What do you think the signs of CO poisoning are? - Headache and drowsiness, I think.

Would you be able to recognise these signs? - Not sure I'd connect them to MO poisoning.

Would you/do you take a CO alarm on holiday with you? - I don't but I'd consider it.

EauRouge Mon 28-May-12 20:25:16

We have a CO alarm in our kitchen where our boiler is but I have to confess that I don't know an awful lot about CO poisoning blush and what I do know is from when there was a publicity campaign several years ago so it could be out of date. Maybe it's time for another one? People younger than me who won't remember the last publicity campaign might just think CO poisoning is something that can happen when you go camping.

I've a vague idea that the symptoms are drowsiness and headaches. I definitely need to read that link!

We are planning to go camping soon for the first time and a portable CO alarm sounds brilliant. I'm a bit paranoid after the deaths of those campers.

More information would be fab, perhaps as a leaflet or a fridge magnet so it wouldn't get lost.

modernbear Mon 28-May-12 21:00:33

How aware are you of the dangers of CO poisoning? Aware of the dangers.
Do you take any precautions to prevent CO poisoning in your own home? We have a monitor and we have our gas fire etc regularly checked.
How about on holiday, do you take the same level of care in tents/caravans/self catering accommodation as you do in your own home? Do you have some kind of safety checklist? no
If so, what steps do you take towards protecting you and your family from CO poisoning?

What do you think the signs of CO poisoning are? Headache followed by dizziness, sickness, tiredness, confusion and breathing problems.

Would you be able to recognise these signs? Depends
Would you/do you take a CO alarm on holiday with you? Unsure. I never thought about CO poisoning on holiday before. Sounds rather silly when you thing about it. It could happen anywhere.

And also about education for families of this topic:
Would you like more information on how to prevent CO poisoning in your own home or when on holiday? yes
What information would you like and how would you like this information to be available? Leaflet with checklist

BitchyHen Mon 28-May-12 21:02:20

I became aware of carbon monoxide poisoning when my regular boiler service revealed that emissions were around 100 times what they should have been. Thank goodness it was discovered before anyone was ill. If the carbon monoxide hadn't escaped through the vent we could have died. I now have an alarm.

I have never thought about carbon monoxide on holiday but would now consider taking my alarm with me.

welliesandpyjamas Mon 28-May-12 21:02:41

How aware are you of the dangers of CO poisoning?
Aware that it is deadly. I remember lots of scary awareness campaigns as a student.

Do you take any precautions to prevent CO poisoning in your own home?
I bought one of those stick on things that change colour if there's a problem. I have it next to the boiler, which is the only thing that uses gas in the house. But I have been told it isn't necessary with a boiler?

How about on holiday, do you take the same level of care in tents/caravans/self catering accommodation as you do in your own home? Do you have some kind of safety checklist?
We camp sometimes and just rely on common sense, no checklist.

They would also like to find out your level of knowledge about the effects of CO poisoning:

What do you think the signs of CO poisoning are? Drowsiness, headaches, losing consciousness...
Would you be able to recognise these signs? I hope so, I hope I am paranoid enough about seeing changes in my children.
Would you/do you take a CO alarm on holiday with you? never thought to before.

And also about education for families of this topic:
Would you like more information on how to prevent CO poisoning in your own home or when on holiday? I think we could all do with some reminding. Maybe something aimed at families rather than the traditional campaigns aimed at students and the elderly. All this especially in the light of recent sad stories in the news.
What information would you like and how would you like this information to be available? The symptoms, what household fittings are actually potentially dangerous, and how to avoid problems yourself rather than at big expensive.

ICutMyFootOnOccamsRazor Mon 28-May-12 21:07:49

How aware are you of the dangers of CO poisoning?

I first remember learning about it when I was doing a lot of scuba diving training as a teenager. Mostly now hear about it when someone dies.

Do you take any precautions to prevent CO poisoning in your own home?

No, but we don't have central heating or a boiler. We use solar for that.

How about on holiday, do you take the same level of care in tents/caravans/self catering accommodation as you do in your own home? Do you have some kind of safety checklist?

To be honest, I've never thought about it on holiday at all.

What do you think the signs of CO poisoning are?

Headaches, drowsiness, cherry-red nail beds and lips.

Would you be able to recognise these signs?

Hope so, although i've never seen them in person, and CO poisoning would likely not spring to mind at the first sign of a headache or sleepiness.

Would you/do you take a CO alarm on holiday with you?

I don't. I've never really considered it, but I'm not sure the risk is sufficient to warrant it and I don't know if it would be ok to take on a plane.

Would you like more information on how to prevent CO poisoning in your own home or when on holiday?

I'd be interested to hear more.

What information would you like and how would you like this information to be available?

Maybe DIY stores where the alarms are available?

maxmissie Mon 28-May-12 21:11:10

How aware are you of the dangers of CO poisoning?

Very aware, have known for as long as I can remember that a CO alarm is needed if you have gas heating/fire. Made more aware when we came home one day to find our alarm beeping and all the downstairs windows condensated - the strong wins that day had been blowing the CO back down the flue and into the house. Gas supply was cut off quickly and boiler condemned. Recent BBQ related deaths in tents has brought it home again.

Do you take any precautions to prevent CO poisoning in your own home?
Yes we have a CO2 alarm in our living room. Our boiler and gas fire are serviced every year. Our new boiler is on an outside wall in our utility room where there is some ventilation. Check the alarm every few months to see that battery hasn't run out and that alarm is still working.

How about on holiday, do you take the same level of care in tents/caravans/self catering accommodation as you do in your own home? Do you have some kind of safety checklist?
If so, what steps do you take towards protecting you and your family from CO poisoning?

When self catering probably haven't checked whether CO alarm in place to be honest but generally look through the pack of info about the accommodation on the first day and usually see if there's a gas safety certificate there. When camping would never put lit or unlit BBQ or oven inside for fear of fire and fumes, it just wouldn't cross my mind to do it.

They would also like to find out your level of knowledge about the effects of CO poisoning:

What do you think the signs of CO poisoning are? Headache and drowsiness and nausea.

Would you be able to recognise these signs? Yes but whether I would put them down to CO is another matter.

Would you/do you take a CO alarm on holiday with you? No but would consider it, just hadn't thought of doing it before.

And also about education for families of this topic:
Would you like more information on how to prevent CO poisoning in your own home or when on holiday?
What information would you like and how would you like this information to be available?

Would be useful to have this info for homes and holidays, for my home just to remind myself about it and the symptoms, things to look out for etc. For holidays to remember about it whilst away. It would be useful to have a small magnet for fridge, wallet sized info cards (one for home and one for holiday) so they are there for easy referral. Maxpower's list above is a good one of info that I'd like provided.

brawhen Mon 28-May-12 21:20:27

How aware are you of the dangers of CO poisoning?

Fairly - see it in news stories and my mum worked for a HA (responsible for tenant's checks)

Do you take any precautions to prevent CO poisoning in your own home?

We have a CO alarm somewhere. I think they might be integrated with fire alarm? (Does that sound plausible?). Boiler is in outhouse, so not a danger. We have a gas fire. We are scrupulous about annual boiler servicing - this is legacy of my mum's HA experience.

How about on holiday, do you take the same level of care in tents/caravans/self catering accommodation as you do in your own home? Do you have some kind of safety checklist?

No. DH bought a portable CO detector for a holiday when DC1 was a baby. I thought he was OTT - but then again lots of the stories you hear are on hols. We haven't ever taken one since.

What do you think the signs of CO poisoning are?

Headaches, drowsiness

Would you be able to recognise these signs?

Not sure I'd differentiate them from any other cause

Would you/do you take a CO alarm on holiday with you?

See above

Would you like more information on how to prevent CO poisoning in your own home or when on holiday?

I guess - but I feel fairly overwhelmed by info on risks x,y,z

What information would you like and how would you like this information to be available?

Maybe a media campaign - would require little effort from me then

BlastOff Mon 28-May-12 21:23:24

How aware are you of the dangers of CO poisoning?

I am aware due to my job and remember being warned lots about it at University. I know someone whose girlfriend got CO poisoning, but thankfully was fine. There have also been quite a few very sad camping tragedies recently.

Do you take any precautions to prevent CO poisoning in your own home?

We have two CO alarms - one upstairs and one downstairs.

How about on holiday, do you take the same level of care in tents/caravans/self catering accommodation as you do in your own home? Do you have some kind of safety checklist?

No, that's a good point. In self catering accommodation (our usual holiday), I don't think about it. Maybe we should take an alarm with us.

If so, what steps do you take towards protecting you and your family from CO poisoning?

No, see above, but I would know not to have a bbq / gas fire etc inside a tent.

They would also like to find out your level of knowledge about the effects of CO poisoning:

What do you think the signs of CO poisoning are?

headache, cherry red lips, drowsiness, nausea, coma.

Would you be able to recognise these signs?

Yes

Would you/do you take a CO alarm on holiday with you?

No I don't but after reading this I will.

And also about education for families of this topic:
Would you like more information on how to prevent CO poisoning in your own home or when on holiday?

Yes

What information would you like and how would you like this information to be available?

I use the internet for most things so adverts on sites like mumsnet would be good. I think there was something in the child health book and that is a good place. GPs surgeries.

Killergerbil Mon 28-May-12 21:29:16

How aware are you of the dangers of CO poisoning? Yes
Do you take any precautions to prevent CO poisoning in your own home? have CO detector in the room with the gas boiler
How about on holiday, do you take the same level of care in tents/caravans/self catering accommodation as you do in your own home? Do you have some kind of safety checklist? Honestly no, but after the recent news we are planning to take one on holiday this year
If so, what steps do you take towards protecting you and your family from CO poisoning? Take a portable CO detector with us

They would also like to find out your level of knowledge about the effects of CO poisoning:

What do you think the signs of CO poisoning are? drowsiness
Would you be able to recognise these signs?
Would you/do you take a CO alarm on holiday with you? plan to
Take with
And also about education for families of this topic:
Would you like more information on how to prevent CO poisoning in your own home or when on holiday? on holiday
What information would you like and how would you like this information to be available? Sent with holid

Killergerbil Mon 28-May-12 21:29:35

How aware are you of the dangers of CO poisoning? Yes
Do you take any precautions to prevent CO poisoning in your own home? have CO detector in the room with the gas boiler
How about on holiday, do you take the same level of care in tents/caravans/self catering accommodation as you do in your own home? Do you have some kind of safety checklist? Honestly no, but after the recent news we are planning to take one on holiday this year
If so, what steps do you take towards protecting you and your family from CO poisoning? Take a portable CO detector with us

They would also like to find out your level of knowledge about the effects of CO poisoning:

What do you think the signs of CO poisoning are? drowsiness
Would you be able to recognise these signs?
Would you/do you take a CO alarm on holiday with you? plan to
Take with us
And also about education for families of this topic:
Would you like more information on how to prevent CO poisoning in your own home or when on holiday? on holiday
What information would you like and how would you like this information to be available? Sent with holididay tickets

mrswee Mon 28-May-12 21:41:44

I have some awarness and experiance of Carbon monoxide poisoning.

When I was 19 I lived in a dodgy rented flat with a gas fire. All through the winter I felt very tired and almost every night myself and my flat mate would fall asleep on the sofas before we could make it to our beds. We suffered from mild head aches too but we put it down to burning the candle at both ends as you tend to do at that age. Eventually the landlord had the gas fire looked at and it was condemed! the gas engineer said we were very lucky that our windows were so dodgy as they were ventilating the room much better than they should have been and we were slowly being poisioned by the gas fire. I dread to think of the long term damage that might have been done.

After that experiance I am quite paranoid about carbon monoxide and would feel worried if I had to sleep in a room with and appliance that might cause it.

I would never use a camping stove in a tent for all sorts of safety reasons, not just carbon monoxide. I have how ever had a camp fire nearish to the tent and now I would worry about the smoke getting too close after reading about recent accidents people have had while camping.

I have a type of boiler fitted in my home that cannot give out carbon monoxide but we are about to move house and the first thing I will be getting tested is the gas appliences the getting a moniter fitted.

Firawla Mon 28-May-12 21:47:39

How aware are you of the dangers of CO poisoning? - fairly aware

Do you take any precautions to prevent CO poisoning in your own home? - i think we do have a co monitor/detector in the home

How about on holiday, do you take the same level of care in tents/caravans/self catering accommodation as you do in your own home? Do you have some kind of safety checklist? - tbh it would not occur to me on holiday

If so, what steps do you take towards protecting you and your family from CO poisoning? - we just have the monitor, thats all

They would also like to find out your level of knowledge about the effects of CO poisoning:

What do you think the signs of CO poisoning are? - feeling drowsy, lightheaded and weird, when youre in the home

Would you be able to recognise these signs? - not sure

Would you/do you take a CO alarm on holiday with you? - no it never crossed my mind to do so

And also about education for families of this topic:
Would you like more information on how to prevent CO poisoning in your own home or when on holiday? - reminder to consider it on holiday would be good, but we mainly use hotels so they would have to be safe anyway, surely?

What information would you like and how would you like this information to be available? - website or leaflet

Blu Mon 28-May-12 21:50:59

EauRouge - Read this link! CO detectors are not designed for tents, and rather than rely on an alarm when camping you need to not have any source of CO in your tent in the first place!

cherryjellow Mon 28-May-12 22:14:40

I've deliberately not read any of the other posts so I'm giving you everything I can remember

This has made me really embarrassed about my lack of knowledge and safety in my home. I know there are dangers of CO2, we have a gas fire, we have ventilation etc. We don't however have a CO2 alarm. I really haven't even thought about CO2 on holiday... I know... thats bad.

I think the signs of poisoning are sleepiness and nauseous. The CO2 is invisible.
If the signs were regular in our home it would cross my mind.
If I had a CO2 alarm I would, I just have never thought about it.
I would like co2 information, I wouldnt mind how I had it. Glad its been brought to my attention now.

nipitinthebud Mon 28-May-12 22:36:33

I am quite aware as as a child I had about six months where birds nested in the flue of our boiler (situated in my room) and I had headaches and nausea. once the problem was noticed and sorted the symptoms went - very scary in retrospect.

We have a CO monitor in the room that houses our boiler - but not in our lounge which has a gas fire, which probably should have one in. Don't bring one on holiday or camping but am aware that most reported CO deaths are on holiday or camping. Camping have only ever cooked a few metres from tent, but recent tragedies make me wonder what the safe distance is.

Signs and symptoms of CO poisoning I think are skin being flushed (as the oygenation of the body is all up the spout) and heaches, being sick, disorientated or unconcious. I guess I had symptoms of CO poisoning as a child, but the symptoms were so commonplace (mild nausea and headaches in a puberty hitting tween) that it wasn't at all obvious.

I'd never have thought of taking a CO monitor with me, but seems somewhat illogical not to considering you're probably as likely, if not more likely to encounter dodgy gas maintenance there than in your own home.

I would like more information on this topic - a TV advertising campaign would be good. But I would certainly read a leaflet or an email/article on MN or elsewhere.

Used to have one of those stick on tabs that change colour if there's CO, since dd came along upgraded to a proper one with an alarm.
Not sure of the symptoms - red face flushed looking?
Camp a lot & would never have bbq too close to the tent & always make sure fully extinguished before sleep. Only use gas cooker with side open during the day, nothing is left lit at night, only use battery lamp.
Never really thought about holiday lets - will do now, and must check mum has alarms at her place.
Leaflet would be good, website even better for info.

maximum4 Mon 28-May-12 23:05:07

I am aware of CO poisoning and purchased monitors for our family home. We have a couple of CO monitors (one up and one down) and in the past I have even taken them away on holiday with us. More recently, I haven't because most of the mobile homes or places we have stayed have a CO monitor already in situ. I am aware of the signs/symptoms of CO poisoning. But I am avid reader of everything and love the news. Sad I know, neurotic - yes I am!

lionheart Mon 28-May-12 23:05:18

How aware are you of the dangers of CO poisoning?

I have some awareness from my student days (dodgy rentals) and strong student union campaigns.
Do you take any precautions to prevent CO poisoning in your own home?

I have a sensor.
How about on holiday, do you take the same level of care in tents/caravans/self catering accommodation as you do in your own home? Do you have some kind of safety checklist?

No. I am alert to some of the signs and always worry about holiday homes/caravans etc. I'm not sure why a monitor isn't a legal requirement, as is the case with a fire alarm/extinguisher.

If so, what steps do you take towards protecting you and your family from CO poisoning? I make sure that the place is well-ventilated and watch for physical signs.

They would also like to find out your level of knowledge about the effects of CO poisoning:

What do you think the signs of CO poisoning are?

Sickness, headaches, lethargy, dizziness.

Would you be able to recognise these signs?

Yes, but wouldn't be absolutely certain that they weren't caused by bugs, especially on holiday when swimming in the sea, eating out etc.

Would you/do you take a CO alarm on holiday with you?

I think I will next time.

And also about education for families of this topic:
Would you like more information on how to prevent CO poisoning in your own home or when on holiday?

Yes, excellent idea. You can assume that the owners/holiday company is responsible and checks everything but it's a big assumption.

What information would you like and how would you like this information to be available?

Leaflets, internet campaign, television and cinema. A better awareness must be a good thing.

lorisparkle Mon 28-May-12 23:21:13

We are very aware of Carbon Monoxide poisoning in the home and have an alarm fitted. However it was until the tragic accident that I was aware of how it could happen on a campsite. We are planning a camping holiday and now plan to buy a detector.

I think that much more information and a public information campaign would be great.

I am aware the symptoms are flu like and feeling sleepy. But with children these can't of symptoms are not uncommon.

We looked into getting a joint Carbon Monoxide / smoke detector for the home but were told that it would be too confusing

The more information that is put accross the better in my opinion.

NeverKnowinglyUnderstood Tue 29-May-12 06:00:24

How aware are you of the dangers of CO poisoning?

very my aunt, uncle and 2 cousins died from CO poisioning whilst holidaying in a caravan in 1980

Do you take any precautions to prevent CO poisoning in your own home?

we have an annual boiler check, but with great awareness that it is accurate for the day they test it and no more than that. we have an alarm upstairs and downstairs. We are landlords for 2 properties and they too have CO detectors as well as smoke alarms

How about on holiday, do you take the same level of care in tents/caravans/self catering accommodation as you do in your own home?

Absolutely as a result of my initial answer.

Do you have some kind of safety checklist?

we never BBQ close to the open windows of the caravan or tent, and when we go to bed the BBQ is not left smouldering it is extinguished with water and we make sure all the air vents are clear from blockages in the caravan

gazzalw Tue 29-May-12 06:28:56

Second bite at the cherry - I think awareness of the lethal nature of CO is growing, sadly down to the very well-publicised unnecessary deaths in recent years - particularly related to camping. However, I still don't think it's something that most people have a great awareness or knowledge of. I would say that there is a lot of work still be done to raise awareness so that there are no unnecessary deaths - at least in the UK where regulation should effectively have outlawed it.

I would imagine that in these difficult economic climes, people will cut back on things such as boiler services (unless there is a perceived problem) and it is just such cut-backs that sadly will probably see a rise in CO-related deaths. Perhaps carbon monoxide detectors should be issued from one source at a fixed, low-profit price to ensure that the uptake is as widespread as possible - and maybe as with TV Licenses they should be free for the elderly and possibly (children aside) most vulnerable groups.

Some sort of more comprehensive campaign is probably long overdue and needed right now before the death toll climbs higher. Again, camping is a probably increasing in popularity as it's a cheaper type of holiday and this increase needs to be matched by some type of advertising to ensure that families and youngsters don't take any short-cuts with safeguarding their lives when they're having fun. It would probably most effectively target via Media and health provision services.

Slubberdegullion Tue 29-May-12 07:50:26

angry

lorisparkle I am going to report your post to mnhq, not for deletion smile, but because as I feared this thread is sending out TOTALLY THE WRONG MESSAGE with regard to CO alarms and tent Camping.

Here is the advice from the Camping and Caravanning club re how to prevent CO poisoning if you are tent camping, as previously posted by Blu.

DO NOT TAKE ANYTHING THAT BURNS INSIDE YOUR TENT

DO NOT RELY ON CO ALARMS IN A TENT

You do not need a CO alarm if you are using your BBQ/Gas stove/Petrol stove/ Gas lantern OUTSIDE and WELL AWAY from your tent. This is how these items are designed to be used.

Mnhq I'm going to be like a dog with a bone at you in this one.

lostinpants Tue 29-May-12 07:52:06

We had a friendly visit from the local fire brigade complete with fire truck, very exciting for the DC's - they come and chat about fire safety, install an alarm & talk about things like carbon monoxide poisoning, so we have an alarm and are aware. We signed up for the visit at a local summer fair - don't know if other areas do it?

I was vaguely aware of the dangers in tents etc as we are campers and would never seal a BBQ inside a tent, the latest tragic accident made me realise just how awful it can be.

I like the idea of a portable one at a good price.

Slubberdegullion Tue 29-May-12 07:52:17

And here again is the advice from ukcampsite website, saying pretty much the same thing.

lostinpants Tue 29-May-12 07:52:43

We had a friendly visit from the local fire brigade complete with fire truck, very exciting for the DC's - they come and chat about fire safety, install an alarm & talk about things like carbon monoxide poisoning, so we have an alarm and are aware. We signed up for the visit at a local summer fair - don't know if other areas do it?

I was vaguely aware of the dangers in tents etc as we are campers and would never seal a BBQ inside a tent, the latest tragic accident made me realise just how awful it can be.

I like the idea of a portable one at a good price.

lostinpants Tue 29-May-12 07:53:33

what I meant to say was for hotels etc!

Slubberdegullion Tue 29-May-12 07:59:14

Lostinpants it's not just about zipping yourself inside a tent with a BBQ for it to be dangerous. This link shows how a BBQ or a faulty stove used in the porch area of the tent with the doors open can still be potentally fatal.

If you have even a slight breeze blowing the fumes inside the tent, with your family sleeping in a sealed bedroom area you have a potentially dangerous situation.

lostinpants Tue 29-May-12 08:01:09

Thanks, we always make sure the BBq is dowsed and away from people when its bedtime - my DP is very safety concious!

EauRouge Tue 29-May-12 08:44:25

Thanks for the links Slubber, very useful. Shan't bother with a CO alarm when we go camping then smile

EauRouge Tue 29-May-12 08:45:30

Oops, thank you Blu as well smile

Jcee Tue 29-May-12 09:02:26

How aware are you of the dangers of CO poisoning?
I am aware of the dangers as heard about it when at university from the housing people when looking at rental accommodation. More recently as a result of the recent tragedies in the news and my friend had a scare in his flat, but thankfully he recognised the symptoms early and got his gas fire checked and sorted.

Do you take any precautions to prevent CO poisoning in your own home?
We have a portable monitor in the room where our boiler is and we have our boiler regularly checked.

How about on holiday, do you take the same level of care in tents/caravans/self catering accommodation as you do in your own home? Do you have some kind of safety checklist? No we don't. Strange really seeing as we take care at home but then don't consider it when away!

What do you think the signs of CO poisoning are? Headache, tiredness and flu like sympoms and breathing problems.

Would you be able to recognise these signs? I think so but the symptoms are so generic and with a small child (2.5) in the house, we seem to have a variety of viral bugs going round from time to time with similar symptoms

Would you/do you take a CO alarm on holiday with you? Possibly.

And also about education for families of this topic
With the recent tragedies an information campaign is clearly long overdue. Maybe a leaflet with checklist of symptoms provided at key places eg when you get a gas appliance, with your gas bill, distributed at rental agencies, holiday cottages etc

Slubberdegullion Tue 29-May-12 09:03:07

EauRouge, no need to buy one for tent camping smile much better to spend your money on a good tarp/gazebo/kitchen tent/ umbrella grin to cook safely under.

Jux Tue 29-May-12 09:17:46

I've had 2 significant brushes with carbon monoxide.

When dd was not quite 6m (she's 12 now), dh went off for the w/e so I was alone in the flat with her. The boiler started making a strange noise and I couldn't turn it off (was very ill at the time) so I rang British Gas, who told me to open all the windows and they would send someone over immediately (that meant about 12hrs later). When the guy from Centrica came he said he could smell the CO (I thought you couldn't?) and got the boiler switched off and condemned.

The second time was 6 years ago when we moved in here. There was a gas fire in the sitting room, we moved in in December and there was snow, it was freezing. We would put the fire on in the evening and all fall asleep; fairly normal for dh and dd but not for me. Day after day, for the whole winter. I had to get a Corgi plumber in to check some gas appliances in the spring and he took one look at our sitting room fire and disconnected it. It had no vent, so was emitting CO all the time it was on, which just spread out through the room. The plumber thought that the fact that we have very high ceilings and draughty windows, and never shut the sitting room door was why we weren't dead.

Symptoms that I know of: headaches, cherry red lips, sleepiness.
I didn't notice us having cherry red lips, and in those days I had been suffering constant headaches for years so it wasn't special and I ignored it.

We go camping. I have only recently realised that barbecues give off CO and as it's a heavy gas you are more at risk in a tent, sleeping on the ground. Not sure exactly what we might do about that, but will discuss with dh.

I would like more information.

NorkyButNice Tue 29-May-12 09:24:00

I'm very aware of the dangers of CO poisoning, having lived in some very dodgy student accommodation whilst at university.

When we moved into our current house the gas boiler was in the boys' bedroom which we wouldnt have been comfortable with in case of CO leaks. Luckily it was a complete refurb job so we've re-plumbed the whole house.

Symptoms - headaches, fluey feeling, flushed cheeks... All of which disappear when you get out of the room where the CO leak is.

We have CO alarms at home but it has never occurred to me to take them on holiday. We've never been camping or stayed in a caravan but it would make sense to take one to a self-catered cottage just in case.

Interesting thread!

Slubberdegullion Tue 29-May-12 09:34:50

Jux CO is not a heavy gas. That link says it is of similar density to air. As CO from a BBQ/Stove would be released from combustion they would tend to rise.

Pinot Tue 29-May-12 11:04:58

How aware are you of the dangers of CO poisoning? I think I am well educated about this.
Do you take any precautions to prevent CO poisoning in your own home? Yes we have a CO monitor near the boiler.
How about on holiday, do you take the same level of care in tents/caravans/self catering accommodation as you do in your own home? Do you have some kind of safety checklist? Yes we take a CO monitor with us.
If so, what steps do you take towards protecting you and your family from CO poisoning? Portable monitor.

They would also like to find out your level of knowledge about the effects of CO poisoning:

What do you think the signs of CO poisoning are? headaches, red skin.
Would you be able to recognise these signs? I would hope so.
Would you/do you take a CO alarm on holiday with you? Yes, as above.

And also about education for families of this topic:
Would you like more information on how to prevent CO poisoning in your own home or when on holiday? No thanks.
What information would you like and how would you like this information to be available? I am informed thank you.

Jux Tue 29-May-12 11:42:50

You see, SSSSSSlubber, I need MN!!

Jux Tue 29-May-12 11:43:34

Ooh, how did all those S's get there?! Sorry, didn't mean to turn you into Voldemort!

KatieBMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 29-May-12 11:48:01

Thanks to everyone for your comments so far, Sprue Safety Products have asked us to post this statement:

"Thank you all for taking part in this discussion and sharing your knowledge of carbon monoxide - and the alarming experiences some of you have had.

We would like to make it absolutely clear that in no way are we saying it is safe to burn anything inside a tent, as long as you have a carbon monoxide alarm. It is not. This discussion is designed to find out how aware mumsnetters are of the potentially fatal dangers of CO – in any accommodation.

A barbecue should NEVER be taken inside a tent, awning, caravan or motorhome. A warm, smouldering barbecue will give off poisonous CO, which can kill quickly and without warning, as it has no smell or taste. And NEVER place a lit barbecue near the sleeping area outside your tent/awning."

Slubberdegullion Tue 29-May-12 11:59:21

Excellent MNHQ and Sprue Safety Products. Thank you so much for that statement. Is there anyway that that very important message can be added to the OP as, as we all know, people tend not to read the whole thread before commenting and it could get missed?

Many thanks again smile

Slubberdegullion Tue 29-May-12 12:00:05

grin Jux.

I have to plead total ignorance on this topic - while I know that there is such a thing as carbon monoxide poisoning, I don't know how it's prevented, what the symptoms are, how it's caused and we don't have any alarms blush This thread has made me think that we really ought to get an alarm now, I am shocked at some of things that I have read on this thread

AvocadoAndFitch Tue 29-May-12 12:11:33

How aware are you of the dangers of CO poisoning?
Conscious of the risk

Do you take any precautions to prevent CO poisoning in your own home?
We have a monitor and check the battery when we check the fire alarms

How about on holiday, do you take the same level of care in tents/caravans/self catering accommodation as you do in your own home? Do you have some kind of safety checklist. If so, what steps do you take towards protecting you and your family from CO poisoning?

No check list but we take our monitor with us and look out for symptoms

What do you think the signs of CO poisoning are?
flu like symptoms, red mucus membranes, headaches, lethargy.
Would you be able to recognise these signs?
yes
Would you/do you take a CO alarm on holiday with you?
yes we do but don't rely on it, we still look out for the signs.

Would you like more information on how to prevent CO poisoning in your own home or when on holiday?
Yes, you can never be too informed about safety.
What information would you like and how would you like this information to be available? fridge stickers of the symptoms, info in bounty packs etc

AvocadoAndFitch Tue 29-May-12 12:12:21

How aware are you of the dangers of CO poisoning?
Conscious of the risk

Do you take any precautions to prevent CO poisoning in your own home?
We have a monitor and check the battery when we check the fire alarms

How about on holiday, do you take the same level of care in tents/caravans/self catering accommodation as you do in your own home? Do you have some kind of safety checklist. If so, what steps do you take towards protecting you and your family from CO poisoning?

No check list but we take our monitor with us and look out for symptoms

What do you think the signs of CO poisoning are?
flu like symptoms, red mucus membranes, headaches, lethargy.
Would you be able to recognise these signs?
yes
Would you/do you take a CO alarm on holiday with you?
yes we do but don't rely on it, we still look out for the signs.

Would you like more information on how to prevent CO poisoning in your own home or when on holiday?
Yes, you can never be too informed about safety.
What information would you like and how would you like this information to be available?
Fridge stickers of the symptoms, info in bounty packs etc

iwantavuvezela Tue 29-May-12 13:24:39

How aware are you of the dangers of CO poisoning?

Not aware at all, after reading some of these posts, i think I am aware on a superficial level, but have not really informed myself.

Do you take any precautions to prevent CO poisoning in your own home?
I have a smoke alarm in my daugthers room
One downstairs
We had a wood burner installed recently and they installed an alarm
I have not checked the batteries though and should do this

How about on holiday, do you take the same level of care in tents/caravans/self catering accommodation as you do in your own home? Do you have some kind of safety checklist?

No, i have never even thought about doing this on holiday.

If so, what steps do you take towards protecting you and your family from CO poisoning?

None!

They would also like to find out your level of knowledge about the effects of CO poisoning:

What do you think the signs of CO poisoning are? I dont know
Would you be able to recognise these signs? No
Would you/do you take a CO alarm on holiday with you? I havnt done ever before

And also about education for families of this topic:
Would you like more information on how to prevent CO poisoning in your own home or when on holiday?

I am going to use this website to read up, and i have been reading this thread, and feel really ignorant around this subject, and something i should be better informed on.
What information would you like and how would you like this information to be available?
As above, will use link to website.

i will use this as a jolt to become better informed.

BartletForAmerica Tue 29-May-12 13:37:25

Please add that statement to the OP. It is a really important message for people to hear.

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 29-May-12 14:31:44

Hi all,

We've edited the OP now to add the extra safety message.

Thanks for all your input,
MNHQ

CampaignStace10 Tue 29-May-12 14:35:59

This is a great topic to Get awareness out to the public, In 2004 i lost my son Dominic aged 10, To carbon monoxide, The fumes came from next doors house into his bedroom, Please make sure you have a Audible carbon monoxide alarm, I didnt have one in my property , and will have to live the rest of my life with guilt x

xkcdfangirl Tue 29-May-12 15:42:45

I bought a Carbon Monoxide detector for the first time quite recently after reading about yet another tragedy which could have been averted by one. It is now installed on the upstairs landing between our bedroom and the DC's. It's not Fire Angel, it's by a company called Kidde (B&Q had Fire Angel alarms too but they were significantly more expensive and there was no obvious reason to spend more).

It's didn't even occur to me to take it on holiday with me - we went away about a week or so after buying and installing it, but the idea just never crossed my mind.

I think that having a detector is a sensible precaution, but my perception of the danger is that if you are a home-owner or the tenant of a responsible and non-cheapskate landlord and have your gas system serviced regularly then your risk is minimal. You are probably at much greater risk if your landlord is rubbish or if you go on an ultra-budget holiday where the accomodation might be provided by someone with a lax attitude. I don't think I would do a specific check while on holiday - I couldn't imagine walking out of booked accommodation if I arrived to discover the gas safety certificate was out of date, thus ruining a holiday. But I might consider taking a portable one on hols in future.

I would never actually cook on a barbeque in a tent but until the recent news story about the tragic consequences I think it's entirely possible I could have chosen to bring a not-quite-cool-enough-to-carry-but-cool-enough-to-nudge-with-a-foot disposable barbeque into a tent to allow it to cool down tidily out of sight if I didn't want to carry it over to the waste disposal area of the campsite before bed. There but for the Grace of God go I etc. I'm glad I know better now.

I believe that the main symptom of CO poisoning is excessive drowsiness, but I'm not sure I would necessarily conclude that CO poisoning was a likely explanation if I or a family member suddenly exhibited this symptom - we spend 90% of our lives exhausted anyway!

boredandrestless Tue 29-May-12 15:49:18

I am very aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning - I have a fireman relative who has always come straight round when I've moved and fits new smoke and carbon monoxide alarms through the house.
Precautions I take are having, and testing, my CO2 alarm, and having an annual gas safety service done on all gas appliances.

I have not taken the same level of precautions on holidays.

Is there such a thing as a portable co2 detector/alarm? If there is someone point me in the right direction as I would like to buy one!

When we stay in hotels I check fire exits from rooms, and look for smoke alarms. When camping I do not allow cooking in the tent and we don't take any heater type equipment.

I think the signs are headaches, dizzyness, and feeling sick?

I do think there should be more awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning, and the signs to look out for. An awareness campaign of leaflets to homes, and advertisements in the media would reach a wide audience.

boredandrestless Tue 29-May-12 15:51:22

Just want to say to those who don't already have a carbon monoxide detector - check with your local fire service before parting with cash. In my area the fire safety team will come out and fit smoke and CO2 alarms, and advise on fire escape plans and general fire safety. Well worth checking if this service is available in your area too. smile

abas Tue 29-May-12 16:19:56

I have already mentioned this before, but I lost my daughter in 2010, two months after her wedding. She died in 40 minutes after coming home from work. Just be CO aware. It is important to make sure you and your loved ones have an audible CO detector, that you have all combustible fuel appliances regularly checked - even gas cookers, have your chimneys swept. We know of hotels where a window was nailed closed because of the possibility of CO coming in through the window as it was close to a vent, when the hotel was sold, the window was opened up again. CO poisoning can come in to your house from adjoining properties. Make sure your neighbours have a CO detector. Take one on holiday with you or when staying overnight at a friend's house - some children in the US have died in sleepovers. Don't bring BBQs into your tent or let them die down in the tent porch and make sure camping heaters are properly put together. Finally, only let a Gas Safe registered Engineer inspect or repair any heating appliances. Katie Haines Memorial Trust.

I am vaguely aware of it. The people who fitted our new woodburner left us with a CO alarm, but I am ashamed to say it has not been fitted. I shall stop waiting for DH to do it and sort it out myself, I promise. It has never occurred to me to worry about holiday accomodation, but we don't go self-catering, generally, so that would not apply as much.

The thing which has always worried me is the vagueness of the symptoms. Our house is far from airtight, which is reassuring, I guess, but not enough to rely on. A "quick check" reference card would be a good thing to have.

missorinoco Tue 29-May-12 20:22:05

How aware are you of the dangers of CO poisoning?

Aware it can happen, and that gas appliances should be ventilated correctly.

Do you take any precautions to prevent CO poisoning in your own home?

I ensure products are fitted correctly. Wouldn't cut corners on this side of it. That's it. No monitors.

How about on holiday, do you take the same level of care in tents/caravans/self catering accommodation as you do in your own home? Do you have some kind of safety checklist?
No. I would presume it had been done as part of the safety procedures to make a property fit for renting. I haven't stayed in a caravan before, or in a tent for years, although I wouldn't have thought about carbon monoide poisoning.

If so, what steps do you take towards protecting you and your family from CO poisoning?

What do you think the signs of CO poisoning are?
Drowsiness, a flap of the hands, and cherry red lips. The former is vague, and the latter are late signs.

Would you be able to recognise these signs?
I would not think drowsiness in a family member was CO poisoning initially.

Would you/do you take a CO alarm on holiday with you?
No.

Would you like more information on how to prevent CO poisoning in your own home or when on holiday? Yes
What information would you like and how would you like this information to be available?
Written information. A leaflet through the door would be great.

EldonAve Tue 29-May-12 20:43:26

How aware are you of the dangers of CO poisoning? reasonably
Do you take any precautions to prevent CO poisoning in your own home? we have a monitor/alarm
How about on holiday, do you take the same level of care in tents/caravans/self catering accommodation as you do in your own home? Do you have some kind of safety checklist? no

What do you think the signs of CO poisoning are? not sure
Would you be able to recognise these signs? probably if I knew what they were
Would you/do you take a CO alarm on holiday with you? no

And also about education for families of this topic:
Would you like more information on how to prevent CO poisoning in your own home or when on holiday? no

noo1985 Tue 29-May-12 20:49:18

I have recently moved into a rented property that has gas appliances. Never before have i lived anywhere that had gas so to be honest I did not really understand any of the risks that are involved through carbon monoxide poisoning. You see on the news occasionally families that have died through staying in holiday homes which are not fitted with any alarm but it raises awareness for a short time until the headline is forgotten.

I never realised it was compulsory for a rented property to have an alarm but ours is yearly maintained as the man came out the other day to check it! Peace of mind for me with a little one of 7 months and another one on the way!

I believe maybe more should be done to make people aware of the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning as it never even occurred to me that this would be given off by a BBQ. It's quite a scary thought that I could see many of us in our British weather taking the BBQ inside a shed to finish cooking which could end up causing carbon monoxide poisoning without any of us even realising!

I don't know if i am in the minority of not really thinking about the risks and what causes them but I can imagine there are a lot of people in homes that they own with gas appliances that don't even think to get an alarm! Most of us would never consider not having a smoke alarm would we? So why is this any different??

RickGhastley Tue 29-May-12 20:54:18

How aware are you of the dangers of CO poisoning?
Reasonably

Do you take any precautions to prevent CO poisoning in your own home?
We have a carbon monoxide alarm and a new boiler -the old one was about 30 years old! We have no gas fires or anything like that.

How about on holiday, do you take the same level of care in tents/caravans/self catering accommodation as you do in your own home? Do you have some kind of safety checklist?
I would take care but would assume that the owner had had the necessary checks done and alarms fitted- this is naieve I know!

What do you think the signs of CO poisoning are?
Drowsiness, headache when in the affected room/home

Would you be able to recognise these signs?
With difficulty, as they are also signs of other things- eg just being tired!

Would you/do you take a CO alarm on holiday with you?
We don't but prob should do.

And also about education for families of this topic:
Would you like more information on how to prevent CO poisoning in your own home or when on holiday?
Yes

What information would you like and how would you like this information to be available?
How to be safe - info at the holiday property and online

whattodoo Tue 29-May-12 20:57:47

How aware are you of the dangers of CO poisoning?
vaguely aware.

Do you take any precautions to prevent CO poisoning in your own home?
no, other than having boiler serviced regularly

How about on holiday, do you take the same level of care in tents/caravans/self catering accommodation as you do in your own home? Do you have some kind of safety checklist?
I'm ashamed to say I don't even think about it! Will do from now on - safety checks should be a first instinct

If so, what steps do you take towards protecting you and your family from CO poisoning?

They would also like to find out your level of knowledge about the effects of CO poisoning:

What do you think the signs of CO poisoning are? sleepiness?
Would you be able to recognise these signs? probably not
Would you/do you take a CO alarm on holiday with you? don't at present, will do in future

And also about education for families of this topic:
Would you like more information on how to prevent CO poisoning in your own home or when on holiday? yes

What information would you like and how would you like this information to be available?

should be in all welcome packs for holiday accom, perhaps also with booking confirmation.

Slambang Tue 29-May-12 22:22:03

How aware are you of the dangers of CO poisoning?
I was complacent and thought I was aware but had no idea that it was a risk in tents. Feel very stupid but pleased to know now.

Do you take any precautions to prevent CO poisoning in your own home?
Yes. CO alarms and boiler servicing.

How about on holiday, do you take the same level of care in tents/caravans/self catering accommodation as you do in your own home? Do you have some kind of safety checklist? If so, what steps do you take towards protecting you and your family from CO poisoning?
I have taken CO alarm on holiday but not every time because I forget.
No checklist. I had never considered taking one in a tent but will now.

They would also like to find out your level of knowledge about the effects of CO poisoning:

What do you think the signs of CO poisoning are?
Headaches and drowsiness.

Would you be able to recognise these signs?
We are usually drowsy in the evenings slobbing on the sofa and sometimes have hangovers headaches so wouldn't necessarily recognise the signs as anything special.

Would you/do you take a CO alarm on holiday with you?
yes do and will.

And also about education for families of this topic:
Would you like more information on how to prevent CO poisoning in your own home or when on holiday?
Yes.

What information would you like and how would you like this information to be available?
Non frightening info for kids because they're better at reminding us about safety messages than theuir feckless parents.

hellymelociraptor Tue 29-May-12 22:31:28

Q 1. How aware are you of the dangers of CO2 poisoning?
A. I am aware, but I'm not sure to what degree. I would not have thought a barbecue in the porch of a tent was dangerous for instance, until the recent tragedy.
Q2.Do you take any precautions to prevent CO2 poisoning in your own home?
A. We have a CO2 alarm, in the room where the gas boiler is .We have gas appliances tested and have a vent near our woodburner. I don't know if all that is enough though?
Q3.How about on holiday, do you take the same level of care in tents/caravans/self-catering accommodation, as in your own home? do you have some kind of safety checklist?
A. No. It never occurred to me to do this. I am now concerned about risks when camping as i read that alarms don't work properly in a tent situation.
I also think I might take an alarm when we stay in other properties now.
Q4.What do you think the signs of CO2 poisoning are?
A. Headaches, nausea, lethargy, confusion, loss of consciousness, death.In that order.
Q5.Would you be able to recongnise these signs?
A. Possibly, if more than one person had headaches, or a child, then I might think of CO2. But I imagine its easy to confuse with other things, until it is too late.
Q6. Would you take a CO2 alarm on holiday with you?
A. I haven't yet, but I would, yes.
Q7. Would you like more info on how to prevent CO2 poisoning in your own home or when on holiday?
A. Yes, I really would, as i feel there are gaps in my knowledge.
Q8.What info would you like and how would you like this to be available?
A. I think all self-catering properties should have information to hand and visible , stating what precautions they take and what checks they have. I would like more information in the media. A checklist to go on the 'fridge, like my recycling one, would be handy. A well known web address to double check things and ask questions. (i have no idea who to ask about this).
Thankyou .

hellymelociraptor Tue 29-May-12 22:54:39

I fell a complete idiot, as throughout my answers I referred to CO2 and not CO. (disclaimer, i am half asleep.)

Think I am fairly aware of the dangers. We have an alarm and get the boiler serviced regularly, even though it's out in the garage. I am a bit cautious about the open fire too, the alarm is partly for this.

I'm now very aware about the dangers in tents, particularly after the most recent death. We never cook inside or close to the tent, DH used to use a gas lantern inside but I've made him buy a battery one now.

For other holidays I'm somewhat aware, though I do think it would be easier to forget to think about it in a holiday situation. We've not taken an alarm with us so far - but then a lot of holiday places we wouldn't have heating on anyway so less risk.

Main signs of poisoning I believe are headaches, feeling flu-ey, sleepy, and loss of consciousness if it is severe, also the feeling better when outside the house. However CO wouldn't be the first thing to spring to mind with these symptoms necessarily, unless I had had some concerns about the boiler or something already.

I definitely think there should be more education on this. I think campsites should give out information on CO risks in tents/caravans, and that there should be more on TV etc about it. I am reasonably clued up because I read lots (newspapers, websites etc), but it seems a lot of people still know very little about the dangers so it would be good to reach those people.

AlmaMartyr Wed 30-May-12 09:42:02

How aware are you of the dangers of CO poisoning?
Fairly aware, we camp so I'm very conscious of the recent spate of CO deaths. I'm also aware of the dangers in the home, especially after knowing someone who nearly died with CO poisoning.

Do you take any precautions to prevent CO poisoning in your own home?
We have a CO detector that was installed for us by British Gas.

How about on holiday, do you take the same level of care in tents/caravans/self catering accommodation as you do in your own home? Do you have some kind of safety checklist?
We don't have a CO detector (although I do mean to get one). I never cook in the tent and always cook outside, a good distance from the tent and making sure that any breeze goes away from the tent. We never put the smouldering BBQ inside the tent.

What do you think the signs of CO poisoning are? Nausea and fatigue I think.
Would you be able to recognise these signs? I hope so.
Would you/do you take a CO alarm on holiday with you? Yes, I would. I'm intending to get one.

And also about education for families of this topic:
Would you like more information on how to prevent CO poisoning in your own home or when on holiday? Yes I would like more information.
What information would you like and how would you like this information to be available? Leaflets or a good website would be great, or even just a MN checklist so I could look at precautions I could take.

MilkNoSugarAndAShotofWhisky Wed 30-May-12 11:08:11

How aware are you of the dangers of CO poisoning?

pretty aware...I know that it can kill and know that it comes from lack of ventilation from boilers..am aso aware of the risk regarding camping stoves in tents..but other then that, not much

Do you take any precautions to prevent CO poisoning in your own home?

Boilr is regularly serviced (ha house) but our kitchen (Where boiler is) is upstairs so i'm not sure how this affects any leak in how it spreads...also have a patch that changes colour when leak is deteced but tbh I don't know how affctive they are

How about on holiday, do you take the same level of care in tents/caravans/self catering accommodation as you do in your own home? Do you have some kind of safety checklist?

don't camp/caravan hoiday...when slf catering we really dont even think about it blush

If so, what steps do you take towards protecting you and your family from CO poisoning?

as above

They would also like to find out your level of knowledge about the effects of CO poisoning:

What do you think the signs of CO poisoning are? Headaches, nausea, excessive sleeping

Would you be able to recognise these signs? yes but wouldn't necessarily put it down to CO poisoning

Would you/do you take a CO alarm on holiday with you?

if it was easy to transport then yes probably

And also about education for families of this topic:
Would you like more information on how to prevent CO poisoning in your own home or when on holiday? yes

What information would you like and how would you like this information to be available?

how to prevent it, signs/symptoms and risks and who to call if you suspect a leak...tv ads, leaflets

HannahLI Wed 30-May-12 11:25:51

I am aware of CO poisoning and we have a detector in our home but I wouldn't say that I have ever thought about it in the context of holiday or that I know tabr much about it either in terms of symptoms and signs.
When we holiday I have never thought about CO poisoning and I think that maybe I shoul! However I would never bring a BBQ in the tent or close leave it close to it. I am thinking that I need to get myself more informed as I wouldn't now where to start.

Being honest I have no idea what the signs of CO poisoning are at all. I would like more info on it, I guess the best way should be a quick tips card which I could leave in a suitcase fr access on holidays too maybe with a small built in detector like a thermometer.

Rosa Wed 30-May-12 13:07:28

How aware are you of the dangers of CO poisoning?

Pretty much aware , I knew of somebody who died of it .

Do you take any precautions to prevent CO poisoning in your own home?

Yes In my old flat I had an internal boiler had it checked yearly , and replaced. Now in my own home boiler is placed in a strore couboard, with an external vent in the wall below. It is a 100% sealed boiler that stops automatically with any loss of CO.
How about on holiday, do you take the same level of care in tents/caravans/self catering accommodation as you do in your own home? Do you have some kind of safety checklist?

If I travel with an ABTA tour operator I am confident that the place has been health and safety checked and in many self catering apts the boilers are placed outside or if internal a CO2 detector is placed in the apt. Plus they have to show certificates etc .

If so, what steps do you take towards protecting you and your family from CO poisoning?
When independant I try to choose a place with either an electric boiler or a complex without individual boilers. However many places abroad do not have the same 'concerns or awareness as in the UK'.

What do you think the signs of CO poisoning are? Tiredness, headaches, nausea.
Would you be able to recognise these signs?

If as a family we started feeling these signs then I would consider it . However I have an alarm as well which is tested regularly.

Would you/do you take a CO alarm on holiday with you? Yes I would however try to find a place with one already installed.

And also about education for families of this topic:
Would you like more information on how to prevent CO poisoning in your own home or when on holiday?

Yes I think it is essential especially as many foreign places think they can get away with it .
What information would you like and how would you like this information to be available?

Links off the web for apartment holidays, camping holidays , in travel agents say if you go in for a brochure, but also in common places like supermarkets to make people aware .

I am deliberately answering this without reading the thread first, which I hope will be the most helpful.

How aware are you of the dangers of CO poisoning? Very aware.

Do you take any precautions to prevent CO poisoning in your own home? Yes, but not enough. I am careful about ventilation when using any gas appliances. That's it.

How about on holiday, do you take the same level of care in tents/caravans/self catering accommodation as you do in your own home? Do you have some kind of safety checklist? No, I assume that holiday cottages have a CO monitor.

If so, what steps do you take towards protecting you and your family from CO poisoning? Ventilation.

They would also like to find out your level of knowledge about the effects of CO poisoning:

What do you think the signs of CO poisoning are? Lack of consciousness
Would you be able to recognise these signs? I don't know whether or not I would suspect what was going on
Would you/do you take a CO alarm on holiday with you? I really should.

And also about education for families of this topic:
Would you like more information on how to prevent CO poisoning in your own home or when on holiday? Yes, definitely!
What information would you like and how would you like this information to be available? Mumsnet works for me. Or a nice little laminated card to put somewhere in the house, like the meningitis checklist card.

duchesse Wed 30-May-12 14:16:23

How aware are you of the dangers of CO poisoning?
I am aware of it but probably not enough. We've always lived in draughty houses so I suppose I'm a bit blasé about whether or not the fires, boiler etc have enough oxygen.

Do you take any precautions to prevent CO poisoning in your own home?

We don't have CO monitors fitted even though our GP friends assure us we should. Have just never got around to it although we do have smoke alarms. Oru GP friends have a CO monitor in their yurt (yurt has a wood stove) which is erected over decking with actual gaps between the boards (ie would let air in and CO out) so I'm not convinced they are the most balanced people to talk to about monitors.

How about on holiday, do you take the same level of care in tents/caravans/self catering accommodation as you do in your own home? Do you have some kind of safety checklist?

Must admit we usually camp in our own tent and don't burn anything inside them so not necessarily relevant. If I noticed an appliance burning with an orange flame or felt any of the symptoms I would certainly check but wouldn't be first of the things on my check list on arrival tbh.

If so, what steps do you take towards protecting you and your family from CO poisoning?

At home our woodstoves have vents near them and quite a lot of draughts under the doors/through the floorboards. Also we open the windows as much as possible.

They would also like to find out your level of knowledge about the effects of CO poisoning:

What do you think the signs of CO poisoning are?
headaches, fuzzy memory, sleepiness

Would you be able to recognise these signs?

Not sure, depends on the person. Some people naturally have fuzzy memory and sleepiness.

Would you/do you take a CO alarm on holiday with you?

Nope.

And also about education for families of this topic:
Would you like more information on how to prevent CO poisoning in your own home or when on holiday?

Yes.

What information would you like and how would you like this information to be available?

A leaflet or a website would be fine. Or a DVD or online video.

EducateYourselves Wed 30-May-12 16:09:17

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

latrucha Wed 30-May-12 16:45:06

Interesting. Thanks. Mine's up high so it's out of reach of the little ones. I'll try and find it a new home.

How aware are you of the dangers of CO poisoning? Very, we had a CO leak in my mums flat when I was 4/5.
Do you take any precautions to prevent CO poisoning in your own home? We live in a Electric only place so don't have to take any precautions.

How about on holiday, do you take the same level of care in tents/caravans/self catering accommodation as you do in your own home? Do you have some kind of safety checklist? I have never stayed in a place like the ones mentioned, PIL have a CO alarm in their house.

If so, what steps do you take towards protecting you and your family from CO poisoning? N/A

What do you think the signs of CO poisoning are? I think it's dizziness/feeling ill, headaches & passing out. But I also think that it can be symptomless.
Would you be able to recognise these signs? Hopefully
Would you/do you take a CO alarm on holiday with you? If we were to stay somewhere with gas, then yes.

Would you like more information on how to prevent CO poisoning in your own home or when on holiday? I think it would be a good idea to get people to remain vigilant about CO.
What information would you like and how would you like this information to be available? Websites, and possibly, some sort of Goverment information style adverts so people who don't use PCs are aware of it.

I've deliberatley not looked at the links because i'd rather give a true reflection of my knowledge or lack of!

I know that carbon monoxide gives you flu like symptoms, dizziness, sleepiness, confusion etc and that it can be caused by poorly ventilated gas appliances. I have a wood burner in my lounge and i wasnt aware that solid fuel appliances could pose a risk. I'm in a rented property and we have no co2 detector. (is this something i could ask for from a private landlord?)

Weirdly on holiday i'm far more alert and aware of any risks. We stay in static caravans and i always check the co2 detector in the caravan and look at the appliance inspection inside the boiler cupboard. Thats shameful now that i dont do it at home.

It was only on another thread that i read a co2 detector should be located low down as carbon monoxide sinks. I'm scarily not really clued up on this esp as i'm in a rented house so i'm not responsible for the maintenance of appliances.

I'm off to swot up on it now.

DazR Wed 30-May-12 20:27:38

We have had one carbon monoxide detector for a number of years. Recently replaced this one with two new ones. I too have not looked at links but think that symptoms would include feeling sleepy, headachey...
One of ours is sited near the gas boiler and the other is sited outside our bedrooms (upstairs) on the landing.
Not sure whether this placing is best.

Both our alarms are new and we had the upstairs alarm go off a few weeks ago. It was such a piercing alarm and quite frightening too. Was pretty sure it couldn't be a faulty battery (but changed it anyway). We called the gas board out who gave the whole house a thorough check and gave it the all clear. So, not sure what caused the alarm????

It would be good to have details of what to do if alarm goes off on the back of the unit.

Never thought of taking an alarm on holiday or in a tent - would be a really good idea.

Only gripe is that they are quite expensive compared to smoke detectors.

TheScottishPlayer Wed 30-May-12 21:16:54

I was very aware of CO poisoning as a young student - I shared a house with three others and every bedroom had a gas fire. We had a dodgy landlord who was furious when we got British Gas to check the fires - every one was condemned because of risk of CO poisoning.

I hadn't really given it much thought in recent years - we live in a fairly newish house and get our gas combi boiler serviced annually. I had no idea about the risks from bbq's until I read about that awful tragedy. We don't go camping so it's never really been something I think about.

I'm not 100% about the signs of CO poisoning so I guess there should be more information about it, but not sure how best to get that message across.

Pozzled Wed 30-May-12 21:57:22

We have a carbon monoxide detector and obviously make sure everything is switched off at night. I am aware of the dangers but it's not something I've ever particularly worried about. I certainly wouldn't have thought of taking a CO alarm on holiday.

As far as symptoms go, I wasn't really aware of any early symptoms, just that it can cause you to lose consciousness or die. Thinking logically though, it makes sense that it would cause drowsiness, confusion, maybe headaches first.

I have camped a lot and had no idea that you could have an issue with CO in tents, and I didn't know barbecues emitted CO. I would never have anything hot in or close to a tent, but have stored gas canisters in the porch- now I'm wondering how safe that is.

LynnCSchreiber Wed 30-May-12 22:16:12

I have not heard much about this, as we lived abroad until recently.

It would not have occurred to me to have an alarm fitted, or to take one on holiday, but I would certainly do so after reading some of the stories on this thread. My sympathies to anyone who has lost a loved one due to CO poisoning.

I do have one question - the alarm should be fitted low? My parents have one and it is fitted high up, at the top of the door.

I would welcome more information on this, including the best place to put the detector.

maples Thu 31-May-12 00:26:27

We have an alarm and I test it regularly. We get appliances serviced regularly too. sad so sad to hear about the recent death.

How aware are you of the dangers of CO poisoning?

I am aware of it. Back in the 80's my friend's 2 teenage cousins died in a caravan from CO2 poisoning.

Do you take any precautions to prevent CO poisoning in your own home?

Yes, I have a Kidde CO2 alarm.

How about on holiday, do you take the same level of care in tents/caravans/self catering accommodation as you do in your own home? Do you have some kind of safety checklist?

I've never thought about it in relation to holiday accommodation, although I do remember the children who died in Greece through CO2 poisoning.

If so, what steps do you take towards protecting you and your family from CO poisoning?

Our CO2 alarm is plugged in upstairs outside our bedrooms because I figure that we are more at risk overnight than during the day.

I worry most about my son's bedroom as it sits right above where the boiler is situated downstairs.

What do you think the signs of CO poisoning are?

Drowsiness. Generally unwell/ flulike.

Would you be able to recognise these signs? It would be easy to mistake any of them for something else.

Don't think I would recognise them actually. It is really easy to mistake it for just a headache, etc.

Would you/do you take a CO alarm on holiday with you?

I haven't done but it's a good idea.

MrsApplepants Thu 31-May-12 10:17:02

I'm really glad this thread was started. I'm paranoid about CO poisoning. Have gas boiler, hob and wood burner, get hob and boiler serviced annually and chimney swept, wood burner inspected annually. Have audible CO alarms in all rooms where these things are. Always take one of them on holiday or when staying in hotel. Don't camp so don't know much about risks of this. One of the scary things about CO is that the symptoms are so easy to put down to something else, eg tiredness, virus.

I think all rented properties should have CO alarms fitted as standard, by law, and information leaflets for homeowners could be provided by solicitors/ mortgage providers (I don't think it should be too much to ask for them to include a leaflet with their paperwork and it would mean that the info would reach the homeowner before they move in so that they are aware) as when you buy a home you don't really know its safe until you've had the appliances serviced.

I also think GP surgeries are good places for posters etc and also if someone could invent a good, reasonably priced, travel alarm, fitted with batteries, they should be sold next to the sun cream/ holiday essentials items in shops.

A bug, bright warning ticket on all camping equipment especially tents warning of the dangers would also be good. Posters at campsites etc

A symptoms card/ fridge magnet a good idea. Maybe ( this might be a bit extreme, greetings card companies who produce 'happy new home' cards could print a message on the reverse of the card about CO?

Carefully thought out education for schools also a good idea, would help to highlight and create awareness at home.

Perhaps an ad campaign about dangers re camping would be a good idea, also perhaps a short code that people can remember to reduce the risks. Maybe some myth busting re CO would help too. Eg I think some people still think it smells like regular gas.

bubby64 Thu 31-May-12 11:45:15

How aware are you of the dangers of CO poisoning?
I am conscious of the risk

Do you take any precautions to prevent CO poisoning in your own home?
I have a battery operated monitor near our boiler cupboard, used to have the colour change spot type, but after kids went on a "Crucial Crew" event with the school, we changed it. The kids now do the check on both CO2 and fire alarms monthly!

How about on holiday, do you take the same level of care in tents/caravans/self catering accommodation as you do in your own home? Do you have some kind of safety checklist. If so, what steps do you take towards protecting you and your family from CO poisoning?
We have a monitor in the caravan, never thought about it when we went abroad. Also, never knew about the barbeque thing, although we never do this near caravan or awning dure to fire risk.

What do you think the signs of CO poisoning are?
Persistant headaches, red mucus membranes/lips, lethargy.

Would you be able to recognise these signs?
I hope so, yes.

Would you/do you take a CO alarm on holiday with you?
We have one fitted in the caravan, never thought to take one elsewhere.

Would you like more information on how to prevent CO poisoning in your own home or when on holiday?
Yes please - the safety of my family is paramount with me!

What information would you like and how would you like this information to be available?
Info in caravan and camping stockests and travel agents ie posters and leaflets in promenant place, TV campaign, specific ones about different holiday situations as well as the ones about your home. Inso in bold /prominant position on barbeque charcoal/instant BBqs etc.

KatieBMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 31-May-12 12:09:07

Sprue Safety Products has asked for this information to be posted:

"We’d like to clear up the misconception that carbon monoxide is heavier than normal air and that it sinks. Carbon Monoxide is actually slightly lighter than the average air in our homes and is the result of incomplete combustion of any fossil fuel. As such it is likely to be warm and the combination of weight and warmth will cause the CO to rise.

It is recommended that in any room containing an appliance the CO alarm should be placed higher than the highest opening to the room, such as a door, window or air vent. This will ensure that if CO is present and rises to the ceiling, the alarm will be able sense the CO. If the alarm was placed lower, it is possible that clean air coming through the door, window or air vent would dilute the CO and fail to trigger the alarm.

In rooms without an appliance or possible CO source, it is likely that CO will have travelled from another room and is likely to have mixed generally with the air. It is therefore recommended that the alarm should be placed in the general breathing area for the room - for example in a bedroom without an appliance placing an alarm around pillow height is ideal."

MerseyfireHomesafety Thu 31-May-12 13:53:25

Merseyside & West Midlands Fire Services have just completed an extensive awareness study for Carbon Monoxide. The aim of the study was to measure the extent of possible long term, low level carbon monoxide (CO) exposure in the Merseyside and Coventry areas and look for trends and patterns that would identify any particular demographic that may be at a higher risk to potential CO poisoning. Approximately 30,000 homes were visited during an 2 year period as part of the daily work of firefighters when carrying out Home Fire Safety Checks (risk assessment and fitting of smoke detectors). The data was firstly anonymised by removing the occupants name and address, leaving the postcode. The remainder of the data will allow the study to investigate any social links to the risk of CO poisoning, these are examples of some of the questions we asked during the visit - plus took a CO reading with a monitoring device.

Primary heating method
Primary cooking method
Any smokers in household
Any children aged under
Exisiting CO alarm fitted
Type of house - terraced, detacted, bungalow, flat etc
Occupancy status - owned, private rented, social rented etc
Gas safety certificate - currency
Chimney (if so, had this been swept)
Any recent GP visits
Signs and symptoms

We will post further updates on findings over coming days

LynnCSchreiber Thu 31-May-12 14:51:37

Thanks, Katie and Sprue Safety. That eases my mind.

NarkedPuffin Thu 31-May-12 15:08:33

How aware are you of the dangers of CO poisoning?
Fairly
Do you take any precautions to prevent CO poisoning in your own home?
We have Corgi checks and CO alarms
How about on holiday, do you take the same level of care in tents/caravans/self catering accommodation as you do in your own home?
I take a CO alarm
Do you have some kind of safety checklist?
No
If so, what steps do you take towards protecting you and your family from CO poisoning?
Alarm and never doing anything stupid like bringing a BBQ into a tent. I always have the windows open in houses even in winter anyway

They would also like to find out your level of knowledge about the effects of CO poisoning:

What do you think the signs of CO poisoning are?
Like flu without the temperature
Would you be able to recognise these signs?
Yes
Would you/do you take a CO alarm on holiday with you?
Yes

And also about education for families of this topic:
Would you like more information on how to prevent CO poisoning in your own home or when on holiday?
Not for me
What information would you like and how would you like this information to be available?
*I'd like all campsites/caravan parks to be legally required to post a sign with info about what not to do and symptoms. I'd like all holiday rental properties to have a CO alarm as well as a smoke alarm.

DesperateBauhausWife Thu 31-May-12 21:57:28

I am fairly aware are of the dangers of CO poisoning. I have a CO alarm in the living room on a high shelf, keep the air bricks unblocked, and we have a window vent in the living room.

On holiday, we don't take the same level of care in tents/caravans/self catering accommodation. We don't have a safety checklist.

I don't know what the signs of CO poisoning are really, but would guess you would generally feel unwell. Unfortunately in some tragic cases it is fatal.

I would take an alarm on holiday if I remembered. I should think I could just take my one from home.

I Would like more information on how to prevent CO poisoning at home and on holiday.

I would like it in the form of an attractively designed postcard so I could pin it up as a constant reminder.

I think I am very aware of CO poisoning - we have a couple of alarms in the house (the gas central heating boiler is in a cupboard off DS1'S bedroom so there is an electronic one in there).

I take a battery operated co alarm when we go away to holiday cottages, villlas, gites etc because I remember at the time hearing about the little brother and sister who died on holiday in 2006.

I haven't however worried about it when camping until now. We don't cook or bbq near the tent but we do have a gas heater we have used in winter inside the tent - we won't be doing now!!

How aware are you of the dangers of CO poisoning?

Somewhat - I heard about someone dying in student accommodation from this a few years ago.

Do you take any precautions to prevent CO poisoning in your own home?

I live with friends atm, and I don't think they have a CO alarm, I think I need to get one for the house though.

How about on holiday, do you take the same level of care in tents/caravans/self catering accommodation as you do in your own home? Do you have some kind of safety checklist?

No - this has never crossed my mind on holiday.

If so, what steps do you take towards protecting you and your family from CO poisoning?

None :-/

They would also like to find out your level of knowledge about the effects of CO poisoning:

What do you think the signs of CO poisoning are?

Headache, nausea, drowsiness...I think.

Would you be able to recognise these signs?

Yes - but not sure I would immediately attribute them to CO poisoning.

Would you/do you take a CO alarm on holiday with you?

No, but it is worth considering in the future.

And also about education for families of this topic:
Would you like more information on how to prevent CO poisoning in your own home or when on holiday?

It would be a good thing if this kind of information was given more often,

What information would you like and how would you like this information to be available?

Unsure about best method!

ParlGasSafetyGroup Fri 01-Jun-12 13:29:27

Hello Mumsnetters

We're the All Party Parliamentary Gas Safety Group - a group of parliamentarians from all political parties who work together to try to raise awareness of CO safety both in parliament and beyond. Our chairs are Barry Sheerman, MP for Huddersfield, and Baroness Finlay.

We're certainly keen to say take part here - thanks to Sprue for the invitation.

(You can find out more about us at our website - http://www.policyconnect.org.uk/appgsg/)

It's good to see that the issue CO danger in the summer months (from BBQs, faulty caravan equipment and other sources) is being discussed here. Not enough people realise that CO is just as great a threat in the holiday period. We've been working for many years with industry and charities, as well as parliamentary colleagues, to get the message across to the public that you must be vigilant throughout the year.

Last year we launched a large-scale inquiry into 'Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning', drawing together data and evidence from across the UK and producing recommendations for government. Some of the data is startling: 200 people are admitted to hospital annually with CO poisoning, while at least another 4,000 suffer from low level effects - at a cost of £178 million a year for the NHS. We're glad to say that government are listening to us and many of our recommendations are being taken up. There's a lot more to do though.

Baroness Finlay, one of the chairs of the APPGSG, was keen to add something:

"Delighted that Mumsnet are focusing on CO safety. It's precisely the sort of forum we need to get the message about CO safety through to - to mums across the UK who are rightly concerned about the safety of their families in their home. I've met the families of so many CO poisoning victims. CO alarms are so very cheap - please, do install one and do maintain it. It could very well be the difference between safety and tragedy."

We, the APPGSG officers, are looking forward to reading more of the posts on here. Thanks all....

christmasmum Fri 01-Jun-12 17:32:50

We just bought a tent a few months ago and have only done back garden camping so far but intend to head off on our first proper camp soon. I had no idea of the dangers of taking a BBQ inside the tent and had never noticed any advice about this before buying our tent. Thank goodness for mumsnet forums which highlighted the issue for me! I would highly recommend this issue gets highlighted anywhere and everywhere possible this summer, particularly at campsites where I think it should be a mandatory notice and pointed out to everyone who arrives. I think with the current economic climate a lot of inexperienced people (myself included) are taking to camping as a cheaper family holiday option and may have no knowledge of this risk.

LynnCSchreiber Sat 02-Jun-12 00:17:48

btw, I noticed that Tesco had a sign up next to their BBQs warning of CO poisoning. Could have done with being slightly more prominently placed - we tripped over it.

Jinsei Sat 02-Jun-12 09:01:53

How aware are you of the dangers of CO poisoning?
Somewhat aware, but not very knowledgeable.

Do you take any precautions to prevent CO poisoning in your own home?
We have an alarm which I bought after reading a thread on MN, but that's all really. Not sure what other precautions I could take, but will have a read of this thread later!

How about on holiday, do you take the same level of care in tents/caravans/self catering accommodation as you do in your own home? Do you have some kind of safety checklist?
No and no. blush Though I did notice an alarm in the caravan we rented last year.

If so, what steps do you take towards protecting you and your family from CO poisoning?
None blush

What do you think the signs of CO poisoning are?
I think drowsiness is one, and nausea. Not sure what else.

Would you be able to recognise these signs?
Wouldn't necessarily link them to CO poisoning. sad

Would you/do you take a CO alarm on holiday with you?
I haven't ever done this, but yes, I would probably do it from now on.

Would you like more information on how to prevent CO poisoning in your own home or when on holiday?
Yes, definitely.

What information would you like and how would you like this information to be available?
More general info about the risks, effects and precautions we should take - I feel very ignorant at the moment. Not sure how I'd want it, but I think lots of people lack awareness of this, so some sort of public awareness campaign is needed. And perhaps more regulation as well?

I am aware of the dangers of CO poisoning. We live in a rental property and a while ago had a gas safety check where they condemned our gas hob! Was quite scary to think it could have potentially caused us some serious harm. I was in the early stages of pregnancy at the time. We've since bought a CO alarm for our flat now.

Interestingly and scarily though, I've never even thought about it when going on holiday! It's a really good issue to raise and something I'll definitely think about.

I think the signs of CO poisoning are drowsiness/falling asleep, headaches, feeling generally unwell. I worry though that you wouldn't really notice/see the signs until it was too late. If I had an alarm I'd definitely take it on holiday (if possible).

And also about education for families of this topic:
Would you like more information on how to prevent CO poisoning in your own home or when on holiday? YES
What information would you like and how would you like this information to be available? Online info/Q&A

glitch Sun 03-Jun-12 11:04:49

How aware are you of the dangers of CO poisoning?
I am aware of the risk.
Do you take any precautions to prevent CO poisoning in your own home?
I have an alarm in my house.
How about on holiday, do you take the same level of care in tents/caravans/self catering accommodation as you do in your own home? Do you have some kind of safety checklist?
I don't do anything when we go on holiday.

What do you think the signs of CO poisoning are?
I'm not really sure, headaches, dizzyness perhaps.
Would you be able to recognise these signs?
I'm not certain what the signs are.
Would you/do you take a CO alarm on holiday with you?
I don't take one with me. Perhaps it is something I should do in future.

Would you like more information on how to prevent CO poisoning in your own home or when on holiday?
Yes
What information would you like and how would you like this information to be available?
Signs of co poisoning, perhaps a leaflet or online but short points not reams of info.

Belmo Sun 03-Jun-12 11:57:29

I would say I'm a bit aware of the dangers of CO poisoning, I know it can make you sick/dizzy and/or kill you, but I don't know how common it is and don't know anyone who's ever experienced it.
I don't have a CO alarm at home, have been meaning to for ages, might get one this weekend!
I don't do anything differently on holiday, am generally careful, would never cook in a tent etc but don't really know what else I should be doing.
I think the signs of CO posoning are feeling sick and dizzy but not sure I would recognise it. Can see why taking an alarm on holiday would be a good idea.
Yes to more information.

klaxon Mon 04-Jun-12 06:30:51

Update as a result of this thread I did look up the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning and as a result, when our gas boiler broke yesterday we had the gas emergency people out - who condemned our heating system as it was leaking shock - so thank you Mumsnet. We are now cold but alive!

How aware are you of the dangers of CO poisoning?

I'd like to think we're very aware.

Do you take any precautions to prevent CO poisoning in your own home?

We have a carbon monoxide alarm in the front room. That and the kitchen are the only rooms with gas burning appliances.

How about on holiday, do you take the same level of care in tents/caravans/self catering accommodation as you do in your own home?

We take the alarm with us.

^ Do you have some kind of safety checklist?
If so, what steps do you take towards protecting you and your family from CO poisoning? ^

No - we do rely on the alarm. We haven't been anywhere with a gas burner lately though.

^They would also like to find out your level of knowledge about the effects of CO poisoning:

What do you think the signs of CO poisoning are?
Would you be able to recognise these signs?
Would you/do you take a CO alarm on holiday with you? ^

Sleepiness and headache, lethargy and fuzziness? If I felt any of these I would open windows, get outside and think about possible causes. I've already mentioned we take the CO alarm with us on holidays - prompted by the dreadful tragedies both abroad and in this country.

^ould you like more information on how to prevent CO poisoning in your own home or when on holiday?
What information would you like and how would you like this information to be available?^

I think there definitely needs to be more education other than "Carbon monoxide kills". We need to ensure people are aware of the symptoms of CO poisoning and what to do if they suspect CO is building up.

PepeLePew Mon 04-Jun-12 17:14:41

How aware are you of the dangers of CO poisoning?

Reasonably aware. I think.

Do you take any precautions to prevent CO poisoning in your own home?

We have a CO alarm, and get our gas boiler and fire serviced each year.

How about on holiday, do you take the same level of care in tents/caravans/self catering accommodation as you do in your own home? Do you have some kind of safety checklist?

I've never thought of this.

If so, what steps do you take towards protecting you and your family from CO poisoning?

None

They would also like to find out your level of knowledge about the effects of CO poisoning:

What do you think the signs of CO poisoning are?

Nausea, tiredness

Would you be able to recognise these signs?

I don't know if I would assume that was what the problem was

Would you/do you take a CO alarm on holiday with you?

I don't. I might if I had a portable one

And also about education for families of this topic:
Would you like more information on how to prevent CO poisoning in your own home or when on holiday?

Yes

What information would you like and how would you like this information to be available?

An app would be useful

FurCough Wed 06-Jun-12 08:29:21

How aware are you of the dangers of CO poisoning?
Fairly aware. There was a death in our community a few years ago and it prompted me to get more clued up. Sad that it took that though.

Do you take any precautions to prevent CO poisoning in your own home?
Our rented house had an alarm installed which the engineer tests once a year.

How about on holiday, do you take the same level of care in tents/caravans/self catering accommodation as you do in your own home? Do you have some kind of safety checklist?
We stayed in a caravan last year that had an alarm intalled. No actual 'checklist'

If so, what steps do you take towards protecting you and your family from CO poisoning?
We're camping this year and have a portable alarm to take, after hearing the reports of recent poisoning incidents.

What do you think the signs of CO poisoning are?
Headaches, sleepiness, nausea?

Would you be able to recognise these signs?
Not sure. Might mistake them for flu / hangover etc.

Would you/do you take a CO alarm on holiday with you?
Yes, but we're getting conflicting advice. The Caravan Club (i think it was them) released some guidelines saying that household alarms were not as effective in tents, but didn't expand on what would work instead.

Would you like more information on how to prevent CO poisoning in your own home or when on holiday?
Yes.

What information would you like and how would you like this information to be available?
In tenant information packs, holiday welcome packs etc as well as online.

KatieBMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 06-Jun-12 10:23:43

Thanks to everyone who has taken part in this discussion, the winners of the prize draw are:
£150 Amazon voucher: Pozzled
FireAngel CO-9X carbon monoxide alarm:
sis
deepfriedcupcake
DazR
RickGhastley
ZuzuBailey

Congratulations - I'll PM you all to get your details.

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