Five people were lucky to escape carbon monoxide poisoning in an incident near Devizes.

Firefighters from the town were recently called to a house in Littleton Pannell by the ambulance service, where five people were complaining of ill health.

The fire crew used an Altair monitor to establish that there were very high levels of carbon monoxide within the property, due to a faulty Rayburn.

Now Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service is reminding people of the importance of fitting carbon monoxide detectors.

Watch Manager Neil Chamberlain, from the community safety department, said that the affected people had been very lucky. 

“Carbon monoxide is colourless, odourless and tasteless, but it is also extremely dangerous," he said.

"Without a CO detector, you have no way of knowing that you’re being poisoned until the damage is already being done.

"Carbon monoxide kills about 15 people every year, so it is vital that every possible care is taken.

"CO detectors can be bought in most supermarkets and DIY stores. They’re not expensive and they save lives.

"If you’re thinking of staying in holiday accommodation over the Christmas period, it is certainly recommended to take a detector with you, and they should always be used when camping or caravanning.”

Carbon monoxide is produced by the incomplete burning of carbon-based fuels, including gas, oil, wood and coal.

Most cases of CO poisoning are caused by gas appliances and flues that have not been properly installed or maintained, or are poorly ventilated.

There are signs that you can look for that indicate incomplete combustion is occurring and may result in the production of CO.

They are: yellow or orange rather than blue flames (except in fuel effect fires or flueless appliances);

Soot or yellow/brown staining around or on appliances;

Pilot lights that frequently blow out;

Increased condensation inside windows.

Early symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can be confused with food poisoning, viral infections, flu or simple tiredness but warning signs include:

Headaches or dizziness;

Breathlessness and nausea;

Tiredness and loss of consciousness;

Pains in the chest or stomach;

Erratic behaviour and visual problems.

The service says tht if you or your family experience any of the above symptoms and believe you may have been exposed to carbon monoxide, you should seek urgent medical advice from either your GP or an A&E department.

For advice on carbon monoxide and making your home safer, visit