The Carbon Monoxide Awareness charity is offering advice to home owners over the Christmas period.
Many families will sit down after their Christmas dinner and fall asleep by the fireside. But have they eaten or drunk too much, or are they suffering the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning? That's the question posed by Lynn Griffiths, founder and president of the charity Carbon Monoxide Awareness, whose own family suffered the debilitating effects of carbon monoxide poisoning in their home for more than a decade.
Lynn Griffiths said: "I want everyone to think about the health and safety of their families, friends and the old person who lives next door or down the street as we approach Christmas. If they haven't got an audible carbon monoxide alarm, buy them one. It could be the best present you've ever given to anyone and it may just save a life over Christmas or New Year.
"Carbon monoxide is a deadly gas that is difficult to detect because it is colourless and has no taste or smell. It is produced by faulty or poorly maintained or ventilated fossil fuel burning appliances and by blocked or partially blocked flues.
"Carbon monoxide poisoning causes around 50 deaths each year in England and Wales and there are numerous near misses, many of which go unreported. At lower levels, carbon monoxide causes symptoms that are similar to flu or food poisoning, including headaches, tiredness, nausea and difficulty in thinking clearly.
"As I know only too well from the experience of my own family, people can have their health devastated by low levels of carbon monoxide without knowing what is causing the debilitating illness.
"However, we were lucky compared to some. When there are faulty appliances or blocked or partially blocked flues, carbon monoxide will quickly build up in confined spaces to levels that kill. We've seen too many fatalities over the years and almost every one is a tragedy that could have been avoided.
"Audible CO alarms can be bought from any hardware store or supermarket and they don't cost much. We all owe it to our families, friends, relatives and neighbours to ensure that they are protected."
For more information visit: www.covictim.org
Posted December 15th, 2011 at 1805 by Andrew. Comment by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org