Warning after carbon monoxide leak in Wisbech home

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An alarm alerted a Wisbech resident to a potentially fatal carbon monoxide leak yesterday evening (Tuesday).

The fire brigade were called at 6.45pm after a carbon monoxide alarm started going off in a property at Horseshoe Terrace.

The resident was told to leave the house immediately and two firefighters entered the property wearing breathing apparatus.

Positive pressure ventilation was used in the property and a leak was discovered coming from the boiler. The resident was treated at the scene by paramedics.

Unsafe gas appliances produce a highly poisonous gas called carbon monoxide which can cause death as well as serious long term health problems such as brain damage.

Carbon monoxide has no taste, smell or colour so it is strongly recommends that you fit an audible carbon monoxide alarm in your home.

There are six main symptoms to look out for: headaches, dizziness, nausea, breathlessness, collapse and loss of consciousness. Being aware of the symptoms could save your life. Other signs that could point to carbon monoxide poisoning are your symptoms only occurring when you are at home and others in your household experiencing symptoms (including your pets) that appear at a similar time.

Your home may also show signs of carbon monoxide. Any one of the following could be a sign that there is carbon monoxide in your home: the flame on your cooker should be crisp and blue. Lazy yellow or orange flames mean you need to get your cooker checked; dark staining around or on appliances; pilot lights that frequently blow out; increased condensation inside windows.

If you think you may have symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, turn off any gas appliances, open the doors and windows and get into the fresh air immediately. See your doctor or go to the hospital and tell them you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning. If you think there is immediate danger, call the Gas Emergency Helpline.

But the best way to keep you and your family safe from carbon monoxide poisoning is to get a Gas Safe registered engineer to inspect your gas appliances and flues.