A CAMPAIGN encouraging young people to understand the dangers of carbon monoxide has begun.

Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week runs until November 28 and as part of the campaign, Wales & West Utilities is specifically targeting 16to 25-year-olds, with a simple message - Stay safe from CO or it could be ‘Game Over’.

Carbon monoxide is the silent killer - a poisonous gas which can't be seen, heard, smelt or tasted and is produced when any fossil fuel like coal, wood, oil or natural gas doesn’t burn properly.

Breathing it in can make people unwell, or kill if exposed to high levels of it, and is associated with a range of health complications, including low birth weight in babies, brain damage and heart disease.

Carbon monoxide poisoning kills 50 people a year in England and Wales - and hospitalises many more. In the UK,, there are more than 4,000 visits to A&E for treatment of CO poisoning, which can often lead to lasting neurological damage.

Symptoms include headaches, tiredness, nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, shortness of breath and, in extreme cases, loss of consciousness.

To stay safe Wales & West Utilities is urging people to know the symptoms, get an audible carbon monoxide alarm, ensure gas appliances are serviced annually – that includes gas boilers, gas cookers and gas water heaters - and call 999 immediately in a medical emergency.

Head of emergency services Clive Book, said: "Young people aged 16-25 are often leaving their family home for the first time by going to university, setting up their own home or starting a family.

"Research shows they are less likely than other age groups to have an audible carbon monoxide alarm, and few realise the importance of having their gas appliances regularly serviced.

“We do everything we can to raise awareness of the deathly dangers of carbon monoxide – the ‘silent killer’.

“We urge everyone to stay gas safe by getting an audible carbon monoxide alarm and be sure to get all gas appliances serviced annually including gas boilers, cookers and water heaters…. or it could be Game Over.”

Find out more about Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week on Twitter, using the hashtag #COAW21.

Learn the signs of carbon monoxide and save the gas emergency service number 0800 111 999 to your phone.

Find out more about the campaign and how to keep yourself safe from the threat of carbon monoxide at wwutilities.co