Man rescued from Bideford house with carbon monoxide leak

Fire crews found a leak from a log burner’s faulty flue at the house in Meddon Street.

POLICE officers had to force entry to a house in Bideford last night (Wed) after being alerted to a carbon monoxide alarm.

Two gas fitters called the emergency services around 9.20pm after believing there was a carbon monoxide leak in the property in Meddon Street.

Fire crews from Bideford and Barnstaple attended the scene and officers forced entry to the property.

A man was found to be safe and well inside the house and several other nearby residents were evacuated while the fire service investigated.


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The road was closed until 12.30am as fire crews ventilated the property with a positive pressure ventilation fan.

Fire crews confirmed the source of the carbon monoxide to be a faulty flue from a log burner causing fumes to seep up into the roof space.

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The incident was left in the hands of the police and Wales and West Utilities who also attended.

The fire service has issued the following key steps to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning:

1. Fit an audible carbon monoxide alarm. It should meet European standard EN50291.

Carbon Monoxide alarms are a similar size to smoke alarms and only take a few minutes to fit.

They need to be put in a central location in the house and can be fixed to the wall or can be placed on a table, bookshelf or shelf.

2. Have fuel-burning appliances serviced annually by an appropriately qualified and registered engineer.

3. Don’t block ventilation and have chimneys swept at least once a year

4. Know the main symptoms: headaches, dizziness, nausea, breathlessness, collapsing and loss of consciousness. K

eys signs are if symptoms clear up when you are away from home and come back when you return, or if other people in your household experience similar symptoms.

5. Watch out for soot or yellow/brown staining on or around your appliance, a lazy yellow / orange coloured gas flame rather than a sharp blue one or pilot lights which blow out frequently

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