Municipal Headquarter
of the State Fire Service in Wrocław
Kręta 28
50-233 Wrocław
tel. +48 71 320 70 04
fax +48 71 320 70 05


Carbon Monoxide

   Carbon monoxide coal smoke is a gas produced by the incomplete combustion of coal and substances which in its composition have coal. It is colorless , odorless and non-irritating . Carbon monoxide has a slightly lower density than air , however as a product of fuel combustion ( coal smoke ) in the mixture , is formed with a heavy carbon dioxide , which makes the total exhaust gases have a density greater than air and accumulate in the lower parts of the premises . The toxic effects of carbon monoxide due to its higher oxygen (250-300 times) the affinity of the hemoglobin contained in erythrocytes. Makes the connection called carboxyhemoglobin, which is more durable than used to transport oxygen from the lungs to the tissues of oxyhemoglobin (a combination of oxygen with hemoglobin). Are therefore tissue hypoxia, which in many cases leads to death. Already inhalation of air with a concentration of 0.16% by volume CO, causes death within two hours. While at higher concentrations (above 0.32%) with the first signs of poisoning is an intense headache and vomiting, the lower concentrations cause a relatively short inhalation only a slight headache and collapse into a coma, however, and these levels cause death after long lasting contact.

Symptoms of intoxication

   At low concentrations (CO-Hb 10-20%), haziness of consciousness, retrograde amnesia, dizziness, headache, visual disturbances, feeling of intoxication and nausea. With an average concentration (CO-Hb 30-50%) significant haziness of consciousness until loss of consciousness, hyperreflexia, vomiting, increase in the frequency and depth of breathing. At high concentrations (CO-Hb> 50%) occurs, loss of consciousness, seizures, muscle spasms, decrease in respiration, cyanosis, shock of an accelerated heart rate and pressure drop.

How to prevent

   The primary cause of poisoning are closed, sealed windows. This results in the formation of carbon monoxide in the process of incomplete combustion of the fuel and flue gas makes it difficult to drain. So much comes out of the chimney flue unless flow in fresh air into the room from the outside. Therefore, first of all needs to be ensured fresh air into the furnace (gas stove, gas cooker, kitchen coal or furnace) and the free flow of exhaust gases. It is therefore:
  • Repeal the window in the apartment when using any source of ignition
  • Do not block the air vents and ventilation apertures
  • ensure patency of the flue and ventilation
  • carry out technical inspections, including checking the tightness of the chimney, their regular cleaning and checking the presence of sufficient air flow, - at least once a year the company have a professional chimney inspection chimney: smoke, exhaust and ventilation
  • carry out periodic cleaning of chimney flues, as well as remove the soot accumulated in the septic coal stoves
  • in case of replacement of a new window, check the correct operation of the ventilation, as new windows are usually much more tightly in relation to previously used in the building and they can degrade ventilation
  • systematically check the air flow, for example by applying a sheet of paper into the hole, or ventilation grille
  • not minimize the symptoms of breathlessness headache and dizziness, nausea, vomiting, bewilderment, weakness, tachycardia, and fast breathing, as they can be a signal that we succumb to carbon monoxide poisoning, in such case, immediately ventilate the room in which we find ourselves and seek medical advice

  • Campaign not for the carbon monoxide
  • Graph of the threat of the carbon monoxide
  • How to avoid the carbon monoxide poisoning - link to the side of the Institute of the building technique
  • Carbon monoxide what belongs to know
  • Film: Coal Smoke - Silent Killer
  • Film: How it achieved poisoning

  • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED Municipal Headquarter of the State Fire Service in Wrocław