Tuesday 23 January 2018

Million at risk from carbon monoxide

A carbon monoxide alarm
A carbon monoxide alarm
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

More than 1.2 million adults are at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning because they have not installed an alarm in their homes, new research has revealed.

The warning comes as Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week is launched to alert people about the potential silent killer, which is colourless, odourless, hard to detect and can kill in less than three minutes.

The research, released by the Department of Communications, found that 54pc of people know that all fuels that burn can produce carbon monoxide - this is up from 38pc in 2014.

However, of those who don't have a carbon monoxide alarm, 43pc are unaware of where to buy one and this rises to 60pc in people under 35 years of age.

It is estimated that six people in Ireland die from carbon monoxide poisoning annually.

It can occur when any fossil fuel is burned, including oil, gas, peat, turf, wood and wood pellets, petrol, diesel and coal. Prevention measures include getting fuel-burning appliances serviced annually by a registered gas installer, oil technician or qualified service technician for your fuel type.

However, this research reveals that four in 10 homeowners have not had their boiler serviced for two or more years.

And 45pc have not had appliances, such as gas or LPG fires and heaters, solid-fuel stoves and ranges, serviced in two or more years.

Over a third have not had their chimney swept in two or more years.

Communications Minister Alex White said: "It is officially autumn now and people will be switching on boilers that haven't operated for six months, lighting fires and closing windows - all things which potentially increase risk."

Irish Independent

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