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Why do I need a Carbon Monoxide Alarm?

An Audible Carbon Monoxide Alarm Can Save Lives

A carbon monoxide alarm is essential to prevent accidental exposure to the deadly gas as it cannot be seen, smelt or tasted.

Almost all domestic fuel burning appliances are capable of producing CO, especially if they are badly maintained.

This means that every household is at risk of CO poisoning at some point. Carbon Monoxide Alarms are inexpensive and easy to install.

Even if there is a very small amount of Carbon Monoxide Gas escaping into your home you could be at risk of illness including the possibility of long term damage to the brain.

Common symptoms for Carbon Monoxide poisoning are similar to symptoms of an ordinary cold or to a dose of flu (without fever) and include:

• Headaches
• Dizziness
• Fatigue
• Weakness
• Sleeplessness
• Confusion

If you and especially other members of your family are suffering from these symptoms, you cannot be sure that you are not suffering from the effects of Carbon Monoxide poisoning unless you have installed a CO Alarm in your house.

Unborn babies, small children, pregnant women and senior citizens - especially with respiratory problems - may experience the symptoms sooner than others. But everyone in a house is at risk.

Even tiny amounts of carbon monoxide can cause harm; and long term exposure to small amounts of CO (assuming they are not fatal) can even cause permanent brain damage.

The presence of Carbon Monoxide is measured in parts per million. The following gives an indication of the harm different amounts of the gas can cause:

50 PPM   The maximum safety level as defined by the Health and Safety Executive
200 PPM  Slight headache, tiredness, dizziness and nausea after 2-3 hours
400PPM Frontal headache within 1-2 hours,life threatening after 3 hours
800 PPM Dizziness, nausea and convulsions within 45 minutes. Unconsciousness within 2 hours. Death within 2-3 hours
1600 PPM Headache, dizziness and nausea with 20 minutes. Death within 1 hour
6400 PPM Headache, dizziness and nausea within 1-2 minutes. Death within 10-15 minutes

A Carbon Monoxide Alarm should give a shrill alarm within the following timetables (according to European Standard EN50291:2001), so protecting you from illness or death, even if you are asleep:

50 PPM The unit must alarm within 60 - 90 minutes
100 PPM The unit must alarm with 10 - 40 minutes
300 PPM The unit must alarm in less than 3 minutes

Carbon Monoxide harms by entering the lungs as you breathe normally and displacing oxygen from the bloodstream. This interrupts the normal supply of oxygen to the vital organs and puts your life at risk.

The very best way to prevent accidental death from CO poisoning is to buy an audible CO Alarm and to ensure that your appliances are serviced annually.

Awareness of carbon monoxide poisoning can help save lives. A Carbon Monoxide Alarm is an essential for every home, in addition to annual servicing of boilers and other appliances. An audible Carbon Monoxide Alarm is the key to saving lives. Do not be a victim of the silent killer.

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