Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Carbon Monoxide warning

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service is urging residents to install Carbon Monoxide monitors in their homes after a death following a carbon monoxide leak last week.

With the winter months and colder temperature now here, faulty heating systems can potentially be silent killers. The message comes after crews attended a fatal carbon monoxide poisoning, believed to have been caused by the heating system's ventilation being blocked. Crews were called Hemmingway Road, Witham, on Monday November 23, they assited Ambulance crews following a suspected carbon monoxide leak. Two people were hurt and one killed as a result of this incident.

Divisional Officer Neil Fenwick said: “Carbon monoxide is a silent killer which seeps into your home without any smell and creates symptoms which can easily be confused with a winter cold.

“Poorly maintained boilers, blocked flues and chimneys, badly ventilated rooms and old and broken cooking or heating appliances can all leak carbon monoxide filling a room with this deadly gas.

“The only certain way to be sure that your home is safe is to make sure that you have carbon monoxide detectors installed.”

Poorly maintained gas boilers don’t just represent a fire risk, there is also the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. With heating systems being turned up as winter begins to bite, now is the perfect time to ensure that your boiler is entirely safe by getting it serviced by a Gas Safe registered engineer.

Our Carbon Monoxide safety advice is:

  • Make sure your central heating systems are regularly serviced
  • Ensure any open fires including log burners have their flues regularly swept and kept clear from obstruction
  • Ensure natural ventilation points within the home are kept free from obstruction.
  • Install a carbon monoxide detector in your home in line with manufacturer’s instructions.

More details are available on the ECFRS website or by visiting

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