Accidents in the home are often simple slips, trips and falls in the garden or minor burns and scalds from domestic kitchen appliances, yet there are numerous hazards in our home that put us at risk of more severe injury and illness, one of which being central heating.
How dangerous is central heating?
A poorly-working boiler not only leaves us without hot water and central heating, it can lead to fatal illness and injury in the home, such as carbon monoxide poisoning.
The National Health Service (NHS) states that ‘[in] the United Kingdom, more than 50 people die from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning every year, and 200 people are left seriously ill’.
Many hazards can often be identified through the senses, such as wet flooring that causes slips and falls or an over-heating power point, but the scariest aspect of carbon monoxide poisoning is its acclaimed ‘silent killer’ status.
Carbon monoxide cannot be seen, smelt or felt, meaning that if your gas checks are out of date or if your boiler is malfunctioning, you could be subject to carbon monoxide poisoning without knowing, and the effects could be deadly.
Side-effects of carbon monoxide poisoning
Although carbon monoxide boasts the alias the ‘silent killer’, there are several side-effects to carbon monoxide poisoning. Familiarise yourself with these and if you or any other member of your family display these symptoms, seek urgent medical attention:
Those suffering from this domestic illness are likely to collapse or fall to the ground due to weak limbs. Following this, it is likely that the victim will lose consciousness.
Always call an ambulance to the scene if you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, especially when the patient is unconscious or incoherent.
Protecting your family from carbon monoxide poisoning
The Gas Safety Trust states that ‘Central heating appliances relate to over 66 per cent of reportable CO incidents’, therefore, as an initial course of action, ensure a carbon monoxide alarm is fitted within your property.
The Health and Safety Executive advises that all of your future boilers should be fitted by a trained and registered engineer. All boilers and central heating systems should be serviced regularly.
Accident Advice Helpline
If you have been involved in an accident in the home – rented or privately owned – and you believe you are not to blame, Accident Advice Helpline can help you determine if you have a case eligible for personal injury compensation.
Call today on 0800 689 0500 for a free initial consultation with no pressure to pursue your claim following the call.
Date Published: July 22, 2015
Author: Accident Advice