Known as the ‘silent killer,’ carbon monoxide is a gas which, when inhaled, can be seriously harmful and potentially fatal.

Gas leaks can lead to the presence of carbon monoxide in the home. As it is responsible for killing 20 people every year, it’s essential to know how to detect a leak[1] Read this guide to ensure your home stays as safe as possible.  

What causes a gas leak?

Gas leaks can be caused by faulty appliances, or by those that have been incorrectly installed or poorly maintained. Always insist that gas appliances are installed and regularly serviced by a Gas Safe registered engineer, such as those employed by us at British Gas.

Can I detect a gas leak?

As it is both odourless and colourless, carbon monoxide can be difficult to detect. This is why gas leaks can be such a danger, and why it is essential to invest in appropriate devices to monitor the air in your home.

Install a carbon monoxide alarm

These detect and alert you to the presence of carbon monoxide in the house. Much like a smoke or fire alarm, they are your first line of defence in improving home safety. Make sure you have them fitted professionally by a qualified British Gas engineer and test the device’s battery regularly. Find out about how you can get an alarm here.

Look for the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning

Typical symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headaches, sickness, dizziness, fatigue, confusion, stomach pains and difficulty breathing. If you or others experience these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately, before contacting British Gas to have a Gas Safe registered engineer sent to your home to check for leaks.

Check for faulty appliances

While carbon monoxide isn’t always easy to detect, faulty boilers can be identified by the following symptoms:

  • The pilot light continually blowing out
  • An orange or yellow flame burning rather than a blue one;
  • A black, brown or scorched area on an appliance;
  • A musty smell or signs of soot
  • Or more condensation than normal on windows