THE FIRE service has issued a warning to the public on the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.

The poisonous gas is produced by the incomplete burning of natural gas and liquefied petroleum.

This occurs in gas appliances that are poorly fitted or maintained as well as blocked flues, chimneys and vents. A spokesperson for Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service said: "CO can be deadly and is especially dangerous because you can’t see, taste or smell it, some symptoms mimic the effects of viruses and even a bad hangover. It’s important to know the physical symptoms of CO poisoning to ensure you seek help quickly."

Symptoms include headaches, nausea, dizziness, breathlessness and loss of consciousness. The service estimates that there are 7,500 illegal gas fitters operating in the UK.