Carbon monoxide detectorMore than a third of UK home owners are at risk from carbon monoxide poisoning, according to latest research.

Despite high awareness of what carbon monoxide poisoning is, the research reveals 38% of privately-owned homes in the UK are not fitted with carbon monoxide alarms - and only 6% of home owners can identify the most common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.

In a bid to help reduce the number of preventable deaths each year from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, npower surveyed people across the UK to see how at risk the nation is from CO poisoning.

Less than one in 10 home owners (7.6%) are able to identify the most common symptoms of CO poisoning, and when looking at  ‘at risk’ groups only 5% of parents, 4% of retirees and 4% of students are able to identify the most common symptoms. CO poisoning is often referred to as the silent killer as people can’t see, smell or taste it, but around one in seven private renters (13.3%) also incorrectly think you would be able to smell a CO leak.

Every year, around 40 people die from CO poisoning, and more than 200 people are admitted to hospital with suspected CO poisoning. This new research suggests people in the UK are unsure of what the symptoms of CO poisoning are, so the true number of people affected could potentially be much higher.

The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are: dizziness, headaches, nausea and vomiting, tiredness and confusion, stomach pain, shortness of breath and difficulty breathing.

Additionally, when asked which household appliances could be a cause of CO poisoning, four fifths of Britons (81.3%) correctly said a faulty boiler can be a cause, but less than 40% had their boiler serviced in the last 12 months. Almost a quarter of students also incorrectly believe a radiator could be a cause of CO poisoning.

When asked what people would do if they suspected they were suffering from CO poisoning, less than two thirds (58.5%) of people would call a professional to look at the suspected appliance.

To help increase the UK’s understanding around CO poisoning, npower has created an interactive ‘spot the hazards quiz’.