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Carbon Monoxide - please make sure you have an alarm people it is so so important!

(50 Posts)
Ozuye1981 Thu 02-Feb-12 21:27:30

I?ve not posted here before ? but really wanted to get a message out to everyone ? and make something positive out of a complete tragedy. I?m a new mum and have found the advice on here so useful so wanted to give something back.

Tuesday would have been my big sister's 33rd birthday ? her death two years ago from carbon monoxide poisoning has had a devastating impact on my family and I can?t help feeling if she?d read a post like this she?d have known the dangers that we can all face in our homes and, most importantly, would have been able to take some action.

My sister died as her boiler was faulty ? if she?d have had an alarm she?d have been warned of this silent danger and would have been able to do something about it. So many appliances in the home can emit this gas if they are put together wrongly or not serviced - even camping lamps or BBQs - but one of the most common killers is what we all have in our homes - a boiler. I want to make sure I keep my baby warm and safe ? it is terrifying to think we could all have something in our houses which can do such damage.

So please musmnetters make sure you have an alarm, get your boiler serviced regularly and take an alarm with you when on holiday. Make sure everyone you know does too ? it really can save lives.

redridingwolf Thu 02-Feb-12 21:30:33

very sorry about your sister OP, thank you for post. we got CO alarms last year, as a result of a post on MN, so hopefully your post will trigger others to do so too.

oreocrumbs Thu 02-Feb-12 21:32:38

I'm so sorry for your loss.

Thank you for drawing this to our attention, I do know the risks of CM poisoning, yet I don't have an alarm. I always mean to get one, but then forget.

I will get one.

I hope you and your family are recovering from this tradgedy the best you can x

suebfg Thu 02-Feb-12 21:34:09

Sorry to hear about your loss...

I bought a carbon monoxide alarm after hearing about similar tragedies - there should be more publicity about them - like smoke alarms

Ozuye1981 Thu 02-Feb-12 21:41:05

Thanks for responding, that is great to hear that you have an alarm and that you bought it after reading a post on here. Fingers crossed lots more people will do the same.

Apologies for all the question marks in the text..not sure what happened there!

ShowOfHands Thu 02-Feb-12 21:44:25

We have an alarm on our piano. We have no boiler/gas appliances but we do have a log burner and though it's newly installed and in tip top condition, I just wouldn't take the chance.

It's worth making sure that you also know where to place the alarm. It shouldn't be next to the appliance and needs to be up at head height.

ShowOfHands Thu 02-Feb-12 21:45:38

And I'm sorry about your big sister. I'm sorry, I did mean to mention that. It's unfair that she's not here to celebrate her big day. Happy birthday to her.

NeverKnowinglyUnderstood Thu 02-Feb-12 21:48:10

Totally agree Ozuye, sorry for your loss.

My Aunty Uncle and their 2 kids died of CO2 poisioning in 1980, since they have become available we have had monitors in the house.

Ozuye1981 Thu 02-Feb-12 21:53:59

She had only been married 2 months and hadn't been back from her honeymoon that long. It is incredibly unfair. She had so much to look forward to.

There definitely should be more publicity about them and that's what my family and I are trying by raising as much awareness as possible about the dangers of CO.

TunipTheVegemal Thu 02-Feb-12 21:59:54

good post Ozuye81.

MIL's best friend lost a daughter to CO poisoning.

We have an alarm but I haven't looked at it lately to check it is still functioning, I will do so.

TunipTheVegemal Thu 02-Feb-12 22:00:25

oh, and taking one on holiday is sensible - I would never have thought of that.

oreocrumbs Thu 02-Feb-12 22:03:50

Can I ask where is best to put them, and how many you need?

I live in a 3 storey house, boiler and gas hob on the ground floor, hot water tank on middle floor.

Would I need one for each floor?

I didn't know about the head height thing - I would have presumed to put them next to the boiler - so thanks showofhands.

countessbabycham Thu 02-Feb-12 22:05:35

So sorry to hear of these tragedies.

I get cross that they are so expensive compared with smoke alarms - and I'm not sure I would trust the non battery ones with the dot.

Anyone got any recommendations?

Queenofthehill Thu 02-Feb-12 22:05:47

DM's one went off when DS and I were staying with her. Gas board took it very seriously - they sent someone out immediately. It turned out it was nothing to worry about, but it made me realise I needed to buy one for my home. I'm so sorry for your loss, OP.

culturemulcher Thu 02-Feb-12 22:08:33

So sorry, OP.

Thank you for your post. It reminded me that we don't have one and I've just ordered one a minute ago from amazon.

countessbabycham Thu 02-Feb-12 22:10:13

Thats the other thing I think about Queen.If it goes off,what do you do? Do you open doors and windows and leave house,call someone (who?) or both?

If a smoke alarm goes off cos its got an insect or bit of dust in it,you can do a visual inspection of your house and tell that.But of course with a CO alarm its undetectable otherwise.Are they reliable or prone to false alarms?

MoreBeta Thu 02-Feb-12 22:12:20

orecrumbs - follow the instructions on the alarm but generally not too close to the boiler and around waist to head height (ie not on the floor or on the ceiling) somewhere in your kitchen if that is where your boiler is.

ThePathanKhansWitch Thu 02-Feb-12 22:12:27

So sorry OP, i;ve been meaning to get one for ages. Should they not be compulsory in all home, save on all these beautiful life's.

I'm off to get one tomorrow,many thanks for your selfless post.x

HoneyandHaycorns Thu 02-Feb-12 22:17:06

OP, I'm so sorry about your sister. I hope it will be some comfort to know that your post has persuaded me to invest in an alarm this weekend.

Thank you

oreocrumbs Thu 02-Feb-12 22:25:56

Thanks Morebeta, am off to Amazon for a look.

Ozuye1981 Fri 03-Feb-12 08:08:25

Sorry our internet went down. Thank you all so much for your kind posts. Please do not trust the non battery ones with the dot - you need an alarm that will wake you up, as it is a 'silent killer.'

When you buy a carbon monoxide alarm, make sure it meets current European safety standards. Look for alarms marked with the ‘EN50291′ standard. This may be written as BSEN 50291 or EN50291 and with the ‘CE’ mark, both of which should be found on the packaging and product. Alarms will have either a Kitemark or Loss Prevention Certification Board (LPCB) logo to show independent testing and certification.

Check the battery and sensor regularly to make sure it is still working. The effective life of a sensor is usually 5 to 6 years after which you should replace it.

If your alarm goes off, open all the windows and go outside to get some fresh air. Get your appliances checked immediately and if you think you have been poisoned get medical help straight away.

Gas Emergency Service (24 hours) 0800 111 999

countessbabycham Fri 03-Feb-12 08:59:41

Thank you so much for your answers Ozuye1981.I'm sorry my posts seemed kind of negative,but I suppose it could be those kind of questions that put people off buying a CO alarm,so its good to get answers.

I believe I am correct in saying that if you are a tenant,your landlord is obliged to do an annual gas safety check on the boiler etc in the property.

You have already managed to get several people/families protected by this post,so thank you for putting your message across.

If a "young adult" member of my family leaves home/goes to Uni or whatever,I always think a good present to buy them is a smoke alarm.Now I think also a CO alarm.

I am sure I have seen ones that are both CO and smoke alarms - any good does anyone know?

NeverKnowinglyUnderstood Fri 03-Feb-12 10:14:30

countess, your landlord is obliged but remember they are valid the day the thing has been tested.. if it breaks the next day it is a whole year until it is tested again.

it is not yet compulsory to have a co2 monitor in rented houses and it really should be.

countessbabycham Fri 03-Feb-12 14:30:41

NeverKnowingly.Absolutely true.

TunipTheVegemal Fri 03-Feb-12 14:36:20

'Check the battery and sensor regularly to make sure it is still working. The effective life of a sensor is usually 5 to 6 years after which you should replace it.'

oops. Mine are 10 and 6 years old respectively....

re landlords and uni, my db was in a rented house at university. He never put the gas heater on because we grew up in a house without heating upstairs so were generally pretty hardy. When an engineer came to check the system a month or so before he moved out, he said it was vented wrongly and could have killed him if turned on. angry Definitely do not trust landlords on this one.

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