You can’t see it, smell it or taste it, but Carbon Monoxide can kill you.
Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a colourless, odourless and tasteless gas that is heavier than air.
Carbon monoxide is produced when some fuels – such as LP Gas, diesel, petrol or natural gas – don’t burn properly. These fuels need a lot of air and the right gas supply pressure to burn safely.
CO builds up in confined spaces such as cabins, cockpits or engine bays.
- Ensure all exhausts and internal hoses are continually maintained and checked
- Install a carbon monoxide alarm in the engine room of either a petrol or diesel motor and the main cabin
- Ensure inboard engines exhaust outside the vessel
- Ensure petrol driven generators are used in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations, are not installed in a confined space and do not have the exhaust system modified in any way.
- Never use gas range or oven for heating
- Ensure canvas enclosures are well ventilated
- Mooring next to a boat that is running a generator or engine
Symptoms of CO poisoning are similar to over-consumption of alcohol and seasickness.
- Blurred vision
- A dull headache
- Shortness of breath
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of consciousness
If CO is taken into the body in high concentrations, you can become unconscious and incapacitated very quickly.
CO poisoning is particularly dangerous for those who are intoxicated or sleeping.
- Seek medical attention immediately.
- Victims should be moved to fresh air away from the source of carbon monoxide