Carbon monoxide

Tips and prevention


Maintenance and installation

Ventilation

Precautions

Dos and don'ts

  • Have a registered gas installer regularly check your gas appliances and the condition of flues and ventilation grills.
  • Be careful when checking gas installations in homes that have been empty for prolonged periods, such as those in tourist areas.
  • Only registered gas installers may carry out or modify your gas installation. To identify them, ask them for their Camuzzi-issued license.
  • Any new installation or modification of an existing installation must be done by a registered gas installer and reported to Camuzzi.
  • A carbon monoxide detector alarm can offer additional protection but is no substitute for proper installation, use and maintenance of gas appliances.
  • Gas appliances need to expel combustion residue outside. Gas vents should be suitably designed: totally separate from other leak-tight pipes, free from obstructions and with an outlet into the open air
  • Appliances need oxygen from the room to produce efficient, safe combustion, so it is vital that ventilation grilles work properly.
  • Maintain permanent ventilation in rooms where there are gas appliances without flueing flue or a natural draught. Avoid staying in totally closed rooms.
  • Pay particular attention in winter, when heating is used and ventilation tends to be minimal.
  • Watch out for stains, soot or discoloration on or around appliances. This may be an indication of incomplete combustion and carbon monoxide build-up.
  • The flame of the burner in gas appliances should be blue with transparent edges. If it turns yellow or orange, call a registered gas installer immediately. When lit there should be no part that remains unlit or takes too long to become completely lit.
  • During prolonged absences, turn off the gas at the stopcock.
  • When the burner is on full, the flame should be stable, without fluctuations in its size.
  • In closed rooms appliances should preferably have a balanced flue.
  • Appliances that do not have a balanced flue cannot be installed in all rooms.
  • Natural draught boilers and heaters and infrared heaters must not be used in bathrooms or bedrooms, due to their high oxygen consumption.
  • Do not use burners or the oven to heat the house. They consume a lot of oxygen and generate carbon monoxide if malfunctioning.
  • Do not use charcoal or coal for heating or cooking in a closed room. Solid fuels generate the most carbon monoxide.

First aid

Carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms are similar to those of flu or an upset stomach: headache, nausea, vertigo, confusion, vomiting and breathlessness. How serious the symptoms are depends on exposure time and the build-up in the room, and in serious cases it may even cause death.

What to do in the event of CO poisoning
  • The first thing you should do is act quickly to get the poisoned person breathing. Open windows and doors to quickly ventilate the place.
  • Call an ambulance immediately.
  • Remove the poisoned person quickly from the contaminated room and take them into the open air or to a well-ventilated place.
  • Lay them on the floor in a comfortable position and keep them warm. Loosen tight clothing such as ties, shirts or belts.
  • If the person cannot breathe by themselves, apply artificial respiration until they can be transferred to a healthcare center, as quickly as possible.