04 January 2011

Coroner urges Housing Executive to reconsider CO monitor policy after deaths

I just wanted to tell all our customers to be careful after this news story: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-11968068

A Belfast coroner believes that at least five people have died from carbon monoxide poisoning since August, and is calling on the Northern Ireland Housing Executive to reconsider its policy on carbon monoxide monitors in the home and workplace.

Mr Brian Sherrard voiced his concern at an inquest for Isobel Stockman, 79, from Mountcollyer Avenue, Belfast, found dead at her home in October 2005. Her death was attributed to a faulty flue.

But at least five people have been found dead in the country from suspected carbon monoxide poisoning in the past several months.

How does it happen?
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a gas produced from harmless Carbon Dioxide (CO2 ) due to a lack of oxygen flow when appliances like gas boilers are not properly ventilated. As Carbon monoxide is odourless and colourless, it’s very hard for our senses to detect, so you don’t notice it accumulating. It makes you feel drowsy, then it puts you to sleep, before becoming potentially fatal, which is why easy-to-fit Carbon Monoxide Monitors are a good idea, as are regular servicing of your gas appliances and cleaning of flues if you use solid fuel.

The monitors come in an inexpensive strip form, or more expensive battery operated units, similar to smoke alarms.

Remember, it’s not just faulty home systems that can produce carbon monoxide. It can be a major hazard in the workplace too, where people use engines, furnaces, or any other equipment that uses oxygen to produce energy through combustion.

If you do suspect the presence of Carbon Monoxide, open doors and windows immediately and get out of the house before contacting emergency services. If you are in any doubt over the safety of your gas appliances, please call us on 0800 747 247 or visit us at 0800repair.com

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