Carbon Monoxide Headquarters

Chronic CO Poisoning:

Furnace Concerns - U.K. vs. U.S.:

Chronic carbon monoxide problems are potentially worse in the U.K. than in the USA, because of the many very old buildings and the past and present construction approach which consists of building solid walls, floors and ceilings. This usually precludes the use of ducted forced air heating/cooling. Instead, building are fitted with "gas fires", ie. gas heaters that are usually located in old fireplaces, exhausting into the fireplace chimney.

Problems with Gas Fires / Fire Places:

  • Most use air from within living space for combustion
  • Inadequate installation / maintenance
  • Possible exposure of inhabitants to heat, flame and fumes
  • Possible leakage of unburned heating gas into living space

    Other Specific Problems with gas fires:

  • Chimney outlet too low
  • Cold chimney, leading to water condensation, then rusting of metal parts
  • Exhaust fan creating negative pressure in living / combustion space
  • Unusual geography near chimney
  • Wind conditions around chimney
  • Doors/windows open, additions to structure

    Exhaust Gas Removal problems:

  • Leakage of fumes from flue - masonry/metal/plastic (lined/unlined)
  • Partial/complete blockage of flue - cement, condensates, birds nests, etc.
  • Age of fire/furnace, flue and chimney

    ...... last changed 01/22/01

    Back to Chronic CO Index