Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

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Fire Service recommends carbon monoxide alarms to fully protect your home

As part of CO Awareness Week (22nd - 28th November) Essex County Fire and Rescue Service is urging residents to make sure they have a working carbon monoxide detector at home following two incidents earlier this month. 

In addition to the standard advice to have at least one working smoke alarm on every level of a house, the Service also recommends having a working carbon monoxide detector if you have a gas boiler, gas appliances or an open fire or log burner.

Firefighters attended two incidents earlier this month where carbon monoxide alarms raised the alarm to a fire.

In one incident in Chelmsford, the fire had been burning undetected for a few days within a wall and it was the carbon monoxide alarm that alerted the family in the middle of the night to what was happening.

Carbon monoxide is a by-product of burning fuel such as gas, wood and coal and is harmful if levels build up.

A working carbon monoxide detector can detect harmful carbon monoxide levels and alongside working smoke alarms, can help protect you and your family.

Mark Crouch from Southend Fire Station said: “With the weather getting colder, more of us will be starting to use our heating more and it’s really important that you have a working carbon monoxide detector at home if you have a gas boiler, gas appliances or an open fire or log burner.

“Carbon monoxide poisoning is often called the silent killer as without a carbon monoxide detector, it’s difficult to detect the poisonous gas.

“You can buy a carbon monoxide detector from most DIY stores and if you are in a rented property, the landlord has to provide a carbon monoxide detector.

“Remember to test them regularly, at least once a month when you test your smoke alarms.”

If your carbon monoxide alarm goes off or you experience any symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning:

  • Turn off any gas appliances
  • Open windows and doors to ventilate the property
  • Leave the building and dial 999 for the Fire Service
  • If you feel unwell, call 111 and speak to the NHS
  • Do not use your appliances/open fire/log burner until it has been inspected by a competent tradesperson
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