Ireland’s fifth annual Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week takes place from Monday 26th September to Sunday 2nd October this year.
Each year, the campaign aims to raise awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide and highlight the measures that can be taken to prevent it. Carbon monoxide, often known as the ‘silent killer’, is colourless, odourless and very difficult to detect. It can kill in less than three minutes. On average, six people in Ireland die every year as a result of unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning and many more become ill as a result of exposure to it.
Here are the top six tips for staying carbon monoxide safe in your home.
- Know where it comes from: CO can be produced by any fuel when burned – coal, turf, oil, gas or even wood.
- Service appliances: have fuel burning appliances serviced annually by a Registered Gas Installer, Registered Oil Technician or a qualified service technician for your fuel type.
- Chimneys, flues and vents: Keep vents and flues clear and make sure that rooms have proper ventilation. Ensure chimneys are swept annually.
- Know the danger signs: staining, sooting or discolouration around appliances or condensation or dampness on walls and windows in the room once the appliance is lit.
- Symptoms: Unexplained headaches, dizziness, nausea, drowsiness, particularly when a fuel burning appliance is on could be the result of carbon monoxide. Other clues include others in the property (including pets) suffering from the same symptoms and symptoms improving when you are away from the property.
- Alarm: Have at least one audible carbon monoxide alarm installed in your home and anywhere else you burn fuel, to protect you and your family. Carbon monoxide alarms are available in most hardware or DIY shops.
Ensure your family and friends know the dangers too and help spread the word during Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week.
The awareness week is a public safety initiative supported by organisations across the energy sector and related industries as well as safety and public health bodies including the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU), Gas Networks Ireland, Register of Gas Installers of Ireland (RGII), Oil Firing Technical Association (OFTEC), National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI), Health Service Executive, Health and Safety Authority, Health and Safety Executive Northern Ireland, National Irish Safety Organisation, Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, Chief Fire Officers’ Association and major Irish energy retailers.
Stay tuned to our Facebook and Twitter pages for more about Carbon Monoxide Awareness all next week!