When the temperatures go down, and the heating goes up, the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning at work also goes up. Known as the silent killer, it could cause illness throughout the workplace without anyone even knowing.
It often doesn’t take long for someone to turn the heating on in the office when the cold weather comes. Around the country, colleagues are already debating whether it’s too hot or cold, with the window open at one end and the radiator turned up at the other end.
Although you may not be able to find a temperature everyone is happy with, you can ensure they are protected from the dangers of carbon monoxide. As you cannot see, smell, taste, or hear the gas, the best way is to install a CO alarm.
Each year, carbon monoxide poisoning causes around 4,000 people to go to A&E in the UK.
Prevent Carbon Monoxide
Most deaths caused by carbon monoxide happen between November and February, with the cause commonly being appliances which burn wood or fossil fuels – fireplaces and gas boilers. This is the season when most people have their heating turned up.
When such appliances are badly maintained or installed, they may not burn the fuel source efficiently or vent correctly.
The best way of preventing the carbon monoxide from entering your office is by ensuring you have a professional engineer visit to service your appliances annually. They will check their condition, and advise on any remedial work which needs to be carried out.
But even when you’re doing everything right, carbon monoxide can seep through walls from a neighbouring property.
Installing A Carbon Monoxide Alarm
With an alarm installed three to five metres away from the boiler, on the wall at head-height, an alarm will let you know if carbon monoxide is present before it reaches dangerous levels.
A battery alarm is easy to install, simply needing just a screw or nail in the wall to hang on. And if you choose one which has a sealed battery capable of lasting up to 10 years, then you haven’t got to worry about changing the batteries either. Just like your smoke alarms, check it’s still working regularly.
Should your carbon monoxide alarm ever go off, then turn off all appliances and evacuate everyone outside into clean air. However, an intermittent beep often signals a battery failure. But with an emergency, you should call out a gas engineer to immediately investigate the cause.
In the meantime, you should survey the health of everyone and check for symptoms which suggest CO poisoning. If any of them, including yourself, have potential symptoms, then seek medical advice straight away.