Carbon monoxide safety

by The Gateshead Housing Company & filed under Help in your home - safety in your home.

This poisonous gas can be given off when a solid-fuel appliance has not been properly installed or maintained, or when a throat plate or chimney is blocked.

Because it’s difficult to detect, carbon monoxide can kill without warning. You can’t see it and, unlike natural or LPG gas, you can’t smell it either. 

Our legal responsibility

Under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations, we must protect residents against carbon monoxide poisoning (caused by faulty heating appliances).

What we do

We will fit a carbon monoxide detector in any room where there is an open-flued appliance, or where there is a perceived risk from carbon monoxide poisoning.

What you must do

You must allow access for servicing and inspection twice a year.

If you have a solid fuel appliance you should clean your throat plate every four weeks at the very least, or more often if possible. If you are unable to do this yourself, you must arrange for HomeRepairs to do it for you.

Look out for signs of carbon monoxide:

  • gas flames that burn a different colour instead of blue
  • any buildup of soot on or near an appliance
  • you have difficulty lighting a fire
  • the pilot light blows out frequently.

Help keep your home safe

  • Don’t remove, damage, or take the batteries from carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Don’t light a fire if you suspect your chimney is blocked or has not been inspected.
  • Report any detectors that start to ‘chirp’ – this is a sign they may need to be replaced.
  • Keep ventilation clear to any open-flued appliance.
  • If you have an open fire, don’t burn unseasoned logs as fresh timber is full of moisture and sap, burns poorly and gives off a lot of unpleasant smoke. It causes a build-up on the fire glass and in the flue. Some evergreen tree logs can cause significant tar deposits.

More information about carbon monoxide.