Home safety services

We give practical help and advice on ways to prevent accidents in the home.

Gas safety and carbon monoxide poisoning

About carbon monoxide

Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas and can kill without warning within a matter of hours. You can't see, taste or smell it. It occurs when a faulty gas boiler or gas fire does not burn correctly.


You could be at risk if you sleep in a room where there is an open-flued appliance, like a gas fire or gas fire/back boiler unit. You are particularly at risk if you leave such appliances on throughout the night.


  • drowsiness
  • headaches
  • chest pains
  • flu-like symptoms

What to look out for

  • stains, soot or discolouration around the flue, radiants on the gas fire, appliance casing or decorations
  • orange or yellow flames
  • unusual amounts of condensation
  • pilot lights which often blow out

What you can do

When you are told your gas appliances are due for a service, make sure you make an appointment and keep it.

If you notice any of the signs mentioned above:

  • switch off the appliance
  • open doors and windows
  • telephone your district office during working hours
  • out of hours call 020 8726 6000
  • you can also call the National Gas Emergency Service at any time on 0800 111 999.


Carbon monoxide - the silent killer (PDF, 173 KB)