The Silent Killer, Carbon Monoxide (CO)

What can be done to stay safe, while enjoying the comfort and effects of a real living fire?

Carbon monoxide (CO) is very difficult to detect; it is a colourless, odourless and tasteless poisonous gas, which results from incomplete combustion of fuels such such as Coal, Gas, Oil and Wood.

It is harmful if breathed in, and can be fatal when inhaled in large quantities and if you are exposed to for long enough. When breathed in, the carbon elements react with red blood cells to form Carboxyhaemoglobin. When someone is continually exposed to it, the red blood cells that carry healthy oxygen around the body get starved of life sustaining Oxygen, with serious health effects.


Early symptoms are similar to those of common Flu, so victims are often unaware of what is making them unwell and rarely have any warning. With continued exposure, CO will cause gradual serious health deterioration and may eventually result in death. As it is very difficult to recognise, CO has been termed as "The Silent Killer."

Having your Flue or Chimney swept professionally and regularly, is essential to keep deposits from building up on the lining of your chimney. A clear unobstructed chimney provides a free airflow, which is the best way to ensure the efficient removal of harmful gases. Once swept, CO can safely escape out of your home via the Chimney or Flue and into the upper atmosphere.  

You Sleep well, knowing your Chimney is Well Swept !

To be doubly safe, Fire and Rescue services recommend that all households have Carbon Monoxide Alarms installed, especially where solid fuel fires or stoves are located. Some insurance companies have invalidated claims when such alarms have not been fitted. When home owners, rent out properties to tennants, insurance companies insist on having CO alarms installed.


Hermitage Chimney sweeps carry a number of these alarms on their vehicles and after cleaning a chimney are happy to install an alarm near to the appliance. These alarms have a life expectancy of at least 7 years and meet the approval of the FIre and rescue services and Buildings insurance companies.


We strongly recommend that an alarm be installed, if one has not already been fitted. We can install them while we are on site sweeping your Chimney for a nominal fee. (starting from £35.00)

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