The deadly gas affects boats and anywhere where fuel is burnt in an enclosed space

A new Carbon Monoxide Helpline has been launched offering free advice about the dangers of the silent killer, which is a risk for boaters.

The new service, managed by Building & Engineering Services Association (B&ES), provides consumers with a Freephone Helpline number 0800 810 8464 that will operate 24/7, 363 days per year.

A website also provides comprehensive information about the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning and how to keep out of harm’s way.

Roderick Pettigrew, chief executive of B&ES, said: ‘Carbon monoxide is produced when fuels such as gas, oil, coal and wood do not burn fully usually combined with insufficient ventilation.

‘Whilst many victims are exposed to CO in homes they can also be at risk from exposure in holiday accommodation, caravans, motor homes, tents and boats as these often use fuel burning appliances in what may be a poorly ventilated area.

‘Our new service is therefore intended to warn of all the dangers associated with this potentially lethal gas: when, where and how it can occur and to provide essential safety advice including what to do if someone has been affected.

“The clear message on the website and given out by our team of experts available by calling the Helpline is that there are important steps consumers can take to help avoid the potentially tragic consequences of CO poisoning.’

Fit a CO alarm

Mr Pettigrew added:’In a recreational environment one such important precaution is to always use a portable type CO alarm.

‘Widely available to buy online or through electrical stores it is essential that your alarm is marked with the EN50291 safety standard and with the CE mark.

‘We hope our new service will play a key role in reducing the number of CO poisoning incidents in the years ahead.’

What to watch out for:

monoxide is a colourless, odourless gas and can kill quickly if inhaled in high concentrations.

The symptoms of poisoning are similar to flu or food poisoning, and include headaches, nausea and dizziness.

What you should do if you suspect a leak

If more than one person in the same property develops flu-like
symptoms without a temperature and you think it could be linked to a CO
leak then:

  • Immediately stop using all your cooking and heating appliances that use fuel (other than electricity)
  • Open all of the windows
  • Leave the property or boat as quickly as possible – get out in the fresh air
  • Call the Helpline on 0800 810 8464 for further advice
  • Once outside, if anyone is still feeling ill call 999

For more advice visit the website.