No question: Cuddling up cosily in the evening in front of a fire, accompanied by the family, a good book or your faithful canine friend – the very definition of comfort. A hot and crackling fire is never more appealing than in autumn and winter, when the mercury starts falling.
But beware - even if you check it regularly: Your fireplace may become a death trap. If the combustion process is hindered (due to insufficient oxygen), the carbon monoxide formed as a result enters the room. Admittedly, the total number of deaths each year in Germany is relatively low at around ten. Nevertheless: In 2013, chimney sweeps revealed that nationwide, around 130,000 gas fire installations in private households recorded exhaust emissions in the highly harmful range (exceeding 1,000 ppm/parts per million). In which case, any affected devices have to be promptly repaired. But additional protection, for example, offered via a CO warning device, is also worth considering.
Germany: Around ten deaths p.a.
UK: Around 40 deaths p.a.
Spain: 154 deaths in 2011
Belgium: Around 150 deaths p.a.
Hungary: Around 50 deaths p.a.
Poland: Around 150 deaths p.a.
France: Around 400 deaths p.a.
* Sources: National Health Service/UK, German Federation of Chimney Sweepers (ZIV)