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Wood-Burning Stoves and the Dangers of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
A wood-burning stove brings a great deal of warmth and joy to your home. But just like all forms of heating, it can bring some dangers. Perhaps the biggest of those risks is carbon monoxide.
Accidental carbon monoxide poisoning kills 40 people across England and Wales every year. That figure includes deaths from a variety of different sources, not just stoves. Carbon monoxide is always generated when fuels such as gas, oil, coal and wood are burnt. Problems only occur when the gas is allowed to build-up in a confined space.
Fortunately, there are a few very simple measures that you can take to keep you and your family safe. Just follow the tips below.
Get a carbon monoxide alarm
You can’t smell or hear a carbon monoxide leak, so a special carbon monoxide alarm is an absolute must. Building regulations have made fitting one of these alarms a legal requirement for all stoves installed since 2010.
It is worth getting an alarm even if you’ve had a stove for a while. It is an investment of £25 that will save your life in the event that you do have a carbon monoxide leak.
Use a HETAS approved installer
The best way of preventing a carbon monoxide leak is to use a professional wood-burning stove installer when you first buy a stove. Find a HETAS approved installer to fit your stove. That will give you the peace of mind to know that the job has been done safely and by the book.
A huge proportion of carbon monoxide leaks related to wood-burning stoves are caused because the a stove was installed badly in the first place. If your stove is fitted properly, there is very little chance that gases will leak from it.
Ventilate your room
Having a good supply of air to the room where the stove is fitted is important to ensure your appliance operates efficiently. Ventilation also helps to avoid a deadly build-up of carbon monoxide in the event that you do have a leak.
Look out for tell-tale signs
Black, soot marks on the walls around your stove could indicate a carbon monoxide leak. If you spot these, it is worth getting a HETAS approved fitter to check for any problems.
Equally, an accumulation of smoke in any of your rooms would suggest there is a problem with your flue. If smoke is leaking out, carbon monoxide could be, too.