OFTEC technician checking for carbon monoxide leaks.
With around six fatal carbon monoxide incidents and many more people hospitalised with unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning every year in Ireland, OFTEC is raising awareness of the dangers associated with fuel appliances during ‘Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week’ which runs between 25th September and 1st October 2017 in Ireland.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is frequently known as ‘the silent killer’ because of its colourless and odourless properties, and can kill in less than three minutes and approximately 365,000 people in Ireland don’t know they are at risk of CO poisoning.
With over 50,000 solid fuel stoves and oil boilers installed each year in Ireland, OFTEC is highlighting the particularly high risk associated with the recent growth in stoves across the country.
OFTEC has issued the following tips to urge homeowners to take necessary precautions against carbon monoxide danger:
- Ensure your appliances are correctly installed and serviced annually. Get your appliances serviced annually by an OFTEC registered technician to ensure maximum efficiency and make sure the appliance is not leaking carbon monoxide.
- Ensure that rooms in your home containing heating appliances are properly ventilated. Quick ways to ventilate your home include opening a window after cooking, in the bathroom after a shower and keeping internal doors open to let the air flow around your home.
- Ensure all chimneys are regularly swept and kept clear. Chimneys and flues can allow carbon monoxide to invade living spaces without you knowing it.
- Install an audible carbon monoxide alarm. Surprisingly only 2 in 5 adults in Ireland have one of these. This will alert you to any leaks in your property. However, this is not a replacement for regular inspection of appliances, vents, flues and chimneys.
- Never use an appliance which you believe to be faulty. Get the appliance serviced by a registered, qualified technician to ensure it is safe before use.
OFTEC Ireland Manager David Blevings said; “Carbon Monoxide is a highly poisonous gas which in high levels can kill in as little as three minutes. Therefore it is vital that householders take the necessary precautions with all fossil fuel appliances and that's why we fully support Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week.
“With six people every year dying from carbon monoxide poisoning in Ireland, it is vital that householders understand the importance of checking their home heating systems annually for leaks, damage or defects, including oil or gas boilers as well as solid fuel appliances and to use a registered OFTEC technician for safe, certified solid fuel and oil boiler installations and regular checks.”
For more information on Carbon Monoxide Awareness week visit here.