Famil avoid carbon monoxide death

A FAMILY narrowly escaped death in their rented property near Whithorn after becoming overcome with carbon monoxide fumes.

Teams from Dumfries and Galloway Fire and Rescue were alerted and found the couple and their child overcome by fumes and requiring urgent medical attention.

A partially blocked flue of their wood burner was suspected to be responsible for the build up of the killer gasses

This was later confirmed by a qualified engineer who made it safe.

The incident happened on November 30 but detail's weren't released until this week and the family hasn't been named.

Although they suffered no long term effects in this instance, fire and rescue boss advised all householders, both in rented and their own houses, to fit smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors..

He said: "The symptoms of Carbon Monoxide poisoning are very similar to those you would experience if you had flu. High levels can lead to paralysis and death. It is important that all householders should have their heating installations regularly maintained by qualified people, especially at this time of the year when there is an increase of heating usage."

Carbon Monoxide is a colourless and odourless gas making its presence difficult to detect without the correct alarms. When fuel is burned in an enclosed room, oxygen is gradually used up and replaced with carbon dioxide which builds up and prevents the fuel from burning fully, Carbon Monoxide is then released instead.

John Glover of NHS Dumfries and Galloway told The Gazette: "Whilst we cannot comment on any specific case for reasons of confidentiality, Carbon Monoxide poisoning is often associated with domestic generators used during winter power cuts power cuts in winter and poorly maintained or malfunctioning heating systems.

"It is sometimes difficult to recognise as symptoms can be nonspecific - headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea and fatigue. However, headache is most common symptom (55%-90%), followed by dizziness and nausea.

"It is really important that people ensure that their appliances are functioning properly especially at this time of year when perhaps there is greater pressure to have extra heating on in our homes.

"We would encourage the public to be vigilant in respect of their domestic appliances and stay as safe as possible."