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Little Falmouth Yacht Yard

Flushing, Falmouth

Cornwall, TR11 5TJ

Avoiding Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide (CO) is often called 'the silent killer'.

It is difficult to detect since it has no taste, scent or colour.  Since boats are made to keep water out, they make good containers for gas and fumes.

CO is produced when carbon based fuels such as gas, LPG, coal, wood, paraffin, petrol and diesel do not burn completely.

Ways to avoid carbon monoxide posioning include:

- installing fuel burning applicances correctly
- preventing engine fumes from entering cabin space
- avoid poor repairs and keep up to date with maintenance
- installing a CO alarm and testing weekly

It is important to know the signs of CO poisoning.  A headache is the most common sympton and a person can also become dizzy, tired, confused, feel sick and have difficulty breathing.  These indicators are like flu with one significant difference - CO poisoning does not cause a high temperature.

If you suspect that you are suffering from CO poisoning it is vital to immediately stop using all the cooking and heating appliances that use fuel, open all windows and doors and move away from the CO source.

It is advisable to seek medical help as soon as possible.  CO poisoning can be treated through oxygen therapy.

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