The most common mistakes businesses make with carbon monoxide

Contrary to popular belief, gas detectors are not classified as Category 3 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Weird right? But that doesn’t mean that they’re not important. They provide an effective warning system for workers operating in dangerous environments, so deciding on the type of gas detection system for your business isn’t always a decision you can make off the cuff.


You probably don’t need us to launch into a detailed explanation on the dangers that carbon monoxide (CO) can pose to your health and wellbeing, as well as those of your employees. Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless gas which can be deadly if inhaled in volume. Diesel, propane, and combustion engines are all notoriously heavy emitters of carbon monoxide, so staff who work closely with them are at a much higher risk when it comes to carbon monoxide poisoning, when compared to other working environments.

Some of the milder symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headaches, nausea, weakness, rapid breathing and lethargy. However, the symptoms can get progressively worse from there, and exposure can even be fatal if the right corrective measures aren’t promptly taken. That’s where we can help – here at Gas Alarm Systems, we provide reliable, cost-effective gas detection systems and solutions, tailored to the needs of the specific hazards of your industry. That means you can count on them to protect you from the worst risks of gas leaks – but for maximum peace of mind, it’s worth bearing the following in mind too!

Blocking ventilation systems

This is a key one to look out for. Keeping your workplace fully ventilated is a great way to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning if you’ve got a leak that hasn’t been spotted. Try not to let people fall into the trap of closing up the ventilation systems because they feel a bit cold, as the colourless and odourless nature of the gas means people can start suffering symptoms before they realise they’re in danger.

We’d especially advise against running fuel powered generators, engines, heaters and so on inside enclosed spaces like basements or garages. When running fuel powered machines, it’s vital that you do it in a space with some kind of ventilation, even if that’s just an open window or a door, just to help reduce the risk of gas accumulating in the air.

Using a paraffin or kerosene heater in a closed room

Paraffin and kerosene heaters pre-date the use of central heating, so they’re no longer in widespread use in commercial and industrial facilities around the UK today. Now, that’s not to say their use has been eradicated entirely, and some companies still rely on them in instances when their normal facilities can’t support the installation of central heating (for whatever reason).

However, if you’re using one of these to keep your staff warm, here at Gas Alarms Systems we’d strongly recommend phasing them out, as the old and outdated technology has a tendency to leak carbon monoxide gas. We’d advise looking into electrically powered heaters as an alternative.

Not having a service plan in place for your fuel burning appliances

To be honest, whatever the nature of your fuel burning appliances, it’s always vital to ensure that you’re getting them serviced regularly (at least once a year) by a registered gas installer. This will help you to ensure that they’re all in full working order, all year round. This has multiple benefits – not only does it ensure that they’re safe for you and your staff to use, but it can also help maintain their efficiency, saving you from needless extra expense on your energy bills, and the potential for costly downtime in the case of outright equipment failures.

You haven’t got a carbon monoxide alarm

The preventative measures that we’ve touched on so far, are all good ways of reducing the risk of someone being seriously harmed by a potential gas leak. However, the most important one by far is to make sure that you have fully operational carbon monoxide gas detection systems installed in your workplace. These detectors are designed to pick up on trace amounts of toxic fumes, alerting your staff to the danger and giving them maximum time to get themselves to safety so that the environment can be rendered safe to use again.

That’s exactly where we can help here at Gas Alarms Systems – our gas detectors come in a variety of styles to suit your needs, providing complete protection from asphyxiate, toxic and flammable gases, and our extensive in-house experts have ensured that our clients have received the best service, for over 25 years. Feel free to take a look at our range of fixed gas detection systems or portable gas detection monitors, or if you have any questions or need any advice, by all means call us on 01423 862240, and we’ll be happy to see how we can help.