Feeling a bit hungover or like you might be getting a cold/the flu?
It’s very likely that you could just be a little bit under the weather, but there’s also a chance that you might be experiencing some of the most common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.
According to new research more than 80 percent of adults could be at risk of mistaking their symptoms for something else, putting their lives in danger.
In order to help people properly identify the symptoms, Gas Safe Register is launching a campaign called Better Gas Safe Than Sorry as fewer than one in five are likely to consider carbon monoxide poisoning as the cause of their headache or nausea.
As part of the study, around 3,000 UK adults were interviewed about CO exposure, with many saying they didn’t realise the effects could be so severe.
Only one in five said they would be aware of a carbon monoxide leak in their home if they felt unwell, as opposed to seriously unwell.
These findings are particularly concerning as latest figures show that 5.5 million homes in the UK are known to have unsafe gas appliances, such as gas boilers, cookers or gas fires which can lead to carbon monoxide leaking.
Even more worryingly, only 20 percent of those surveyed said they always stop using a faulty gas appliance until it is fixed and just 42 percent get their appliances serviced each year by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
In order to raise awareness of the new campaign, those in Birmingham will be able to collect a free bacon roll today form the Bullring.
As one of the UK’s favourite breakfast hangover foods, the snack (and non-meat alternatives) will be shared as a way of highlighting the similarity between hangover symptoms and the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Jonathan Samuel, Chief Executive, Gas Safe Register said: “It is really important to be better gas safe than sorry. Staying safe includes being aware of the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. If people are suffering from ‘hangover-like’ symptoms, such as headaches or nausea, but haven’t been drinking – which is even more likely in January – it is important to consider carbon monoxide poisoning alongside other possible causes.
“We would also like to urge everyone to help protect themselves and their loved ones by getting their gas appliances safety checked every year by a Gas Safe registered engineer.”
Paul Hull, Gas Safe registered engineer who is supporting the campaign, added: “Carbon monoxide poisoning is extremely serious, but preventable. To avoid being exposed to carbon monoxide in the first place, it is vital people get their gas appliances checked every year by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
“Even if people have been using the same engineer for a while, they should still double check they are on the Register and look out for the yellow Gas Safe Register triangle.”
Gas Safe Register is the official list of gas businesses who are registered to work safely and legally on boilers, cookers, fires and all other gas appliances. By law all gas engineers must be on the Gas Safe Register.
For more information on carbon monoxide poisoning and the symptoms, visit gassaferegister.co.uk/help-and-advice/carbon-monoxide-poisoning .