Carbon monoxide is an odourless, colourless and highly poisonous gas produced when gas, petrol, charcoal and other fuels burn incompletely. Unless adequate precautions are taken to prevent this gas from entering your living environment, you could end up suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning.
About carbon monoxide
Carbon monoxide may be produced because an appliance is defective or as part of an appliance’s normal function. Barbecues, for example, will produce carbon monoxide even when they are in perfect working condition. When inhaled, carbon monoxide causes poisoning. If present in large quantities, it can kill rapidly and without warning.
Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning
Early symptoms of poisoning by carbon monoxide include:
- Nausea, vomiting and headaches
- Drowsiness, dizziness and confusion
- Weakness, shortness of breath and stomach pains
High concentrations of carbon monoxide can cause:
- Vertigo, loss of coordination and breathlessness
- Rapid heartbeat and seizures
Eventually, the affected individual will become unconsciousness and, unless treated immediately, could die.
Carbon monoxide poisoning at a BBQ
Barbecue grills produce carbon monoxide long after the charcoal appears to be extinguished and cooling. If used indoors or too close to enclosed areas (like tent or caravan, or a patio surrounded by fencing, for example), the gas may accumulate and cause poisoning. It is, therefore, imperative to:
- Always use barbecues well away from enclosed areas
- Always make sure the area near the barbecue is well ventilated
- Never take barbecues indoors or inside a tent after use, even when seemingly cold
Barbecues are not the only likely cause of carbon monoxide production.
Carbon monoxide poisoning in the home
Defective heating appliances or boilers in your home may also produce carbon monoxide. Keeping such appliances well maintained is therefore of utmost importance. If you are in rented accommodation, your landlord will be responsible for the maintenance and regular testing of appliances.
If you were poisoned by carbon monoxide at a barbecue or in your home, you could qualify for personal injury compensation. Depending on the circumstances, the person holding the barbecue or your landlord may be liable for your carbon monoxide-related illness. If your poisoning was caused by a faulty barbecue, liability may lie with the manufacturer or retailer of the defective BBQ.
Accident Advice Helpline
We can help you:
- Establish who is liable for your carbon monoxide accident
- Gather evidence to support your claim
- Get your compensation quickly
Find out how by calling our 24/7 freephone helpline today. The number to call from a UK landline is 0800 689 0500. From your mobile, you should call 0333 500 0993 instead.
Date Published: May 6, 2017
Author: Accident Advice