Tragedy highlights importance of carbon monoxide vigilance

9th December 2015

Tragedy highlights importance of carbon monoxide vigilance

Carbon Monoxide concept.

The danger of carbon monoxide poisoning has once again been laid bare following the death of a man at an Essex flat.  

The tragedy, which unfolded after the ventilation of a heating system became blocked, has prompted the fire service to once again encourage residents and tenants to ensure every home is fitted with a carbon monoxide detector.

The issue is of particular concern during the colder winter months when heating systems are switched on after months of inactivity.

What is carbon monoxide?

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colourless and odourless gas, making its presence difficult to detect. It is formed when domestic fuels such as gas, coal, wood and charcoal are burned and by petrol engines. When fuel burns in an enclosed space, the oxygen in the room is gradually used up and replaced with carbon dioxide. 

If carbon dioxide builds up in the air, the fuel is prevented from burning fully and starts releasing carbon monoxide instead. As a result, people breathing in this air will be poisoned.  

Symptoms range from headaches, nausea and vomiting, and feeling “flu like” to more serious effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, collapse, seizures and even death. Exposure to carbon monoxide may have long term consequences with severe neurological problems.

The source of the Carbon Monoxide does not have to be your own property. Gotelee has previously acted for a family who were poisoned by fumes from the neighbouring flat where a boiler had been negligently serviced some six months before by a registered engineer.

How can you protect yourself?

There are a number of precautionary steps you can take to protect yourself and family like ensuring appliances are regularly service by a registered Gas Safe (previously Corgi) but the purchase of a carbon monoxide monitor which will alert you to a high level of CO and be able to take immediate action. 

How can our Personal Injury Lawyers help you with a carbon monoxide claim?

If you would like to seek advice on making a claim for carbon monoxide poisoning, contact Sian Mullane on 01473 298131 or email for free initial advice.  


Chartered Legal Executive, Associate
Practice Areas
Accident and Personal Injury Claims
Medical Negligence
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