Top tips for Offaly people to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning
Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week takes places from next Monday, September 25, with the aim of highlighting the dangers associated with carbon monoxide.
Carbon monoxide can be released by any appliance that burns oil, solid fuel, wood or gas - including your gas boiler, if it’s not serviced properly. It’s a poisonous gas, but it’s non-irritating and it has no smell, colour or taste, so it’s known as the ‘silent killer’.
According to the HSE, about 40 people die from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning in Ireland every year.
Switcher.ie have released a list of top tips for people to avoid becoming one of those statistics:
1. Get all of your gas appliances serviced and checked on a regular basis by a Registered Gas Installer
2. Fit an audible carbon monoxide alarm
You can buy carbon monoxide alarms from most DIY shops - Switcher.ie found prices ranging from €16.99 to €45, so you could make savings from shopping around.
Make sure the alarm(s) you get meets European Standard EN 50291 - this should be marked on the box - and carries a CE mark. It’s also important that the alarm has an ‘end of life’ indicator, so you’ll know when to replace it.
The alarms are simple to fit, and its advised that you fit them in each room that has a fuel-burning appliance in it. Ideally, you should fit the alarm on the ceiling if at all possible, at least 300mm from any wall, and 1-3 metres away from the appliance.
3. Ensure your home is well-ventilated
To make sure you don’t have issues with carbon monoxide, it’s really important that your home is well-ventilated. This will also help to make sure oxygen can enter your home and water vapour, fumes etc. can leave, and you’ll avoid damage like mould or rot.
To help proper ventilation, you should make sure that any vents in your home are kept clean and clear. You should also make sure that any chimneys or flues are clear and arrange to have them swept annually if you use them for an open fire or stove that burns solid fuel.
The cost of having your chimney swept normally starts at around €60 - but you may get a discount if you have more than one chimney or flue in your home.
Speaking about Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week, Eoin Clarke, Managing Director of independent price comparison and switching service, Switcher.ie, said: “Carbon monoxide isn’t something we tend to think about very much, but we’d encourage consumers to take some time this Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week to learn how to protect against the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning, as well as to be able to recognise the symptoms of it."
“Carbon monoxide poisoning has symptoms very similar to a cold or the flu, so someone suffering from it could experience unexplained headaches, nausea, dizziness, or breathlessness. It’s also possible that in extreme cases someone might even collapse or lose consciousness. One thing to look out for is whether or not the symptoms disappear when you leave the house - if they do, then you could be suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning," he continued.
“However, you can easily protect yourself against the risks of this by taking some simple steps around the home, like having your gas appliances serviced and any chimneys or flues swept annually, installing an audible carbon monoxide alarm, and making sure any vents in the home are clear."
For more information, visit Switcher.ie.