Fire Service urges carbon monoxide awareness

Fire Service urges carbon monoxide awareness


Photo: © Pat Flynn 2017

Clare County Fire and Rescue Service is urging householders to be aware of the dangers associated with carbon monoxide (CO) build-up in the home as part Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week 2017, which runs from 25 September to 1 October.

The main aim of the initiative is to raise public awareness of the causes, symptoms, and prevention and protection measures for the highly poisonous gas.  CO is frequently known as ‘the silent killer’ because of its colourless and odourless properties, and 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 are made ill.  The deadly gas can be produced by any fossil fuel when burned – coal, turf, oil, gas or even wood.

Adrian Kelly, Clare Chief Fire Officer, explained that CO is one of the leading causes of poisoning deaths throughout the world.

He continued: “The potentially deadly gas can build up to dangerous concentrations indoors when fuel-burning devices are not properly vented, operated or maintained. Because it has no odour, colour or taste, CO cannot be detected by our senses.  Symptoms associated with exposure to CO include a mild headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and drowsiness.”

“Fortunately, simple measures can be taken to prevent CO problems,” stated Mr. Kelly, who added: “One such action is the installation of a CO alarm to detect potentially deadly conditions. Householders should also make sure that all fuel burning appliances and heating devices are properly vented and maintained, while knowing the symptoms of CO poisoning is important.”

Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week 2017 is supported by the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER), Gas Networks Ireland, the Register of Gas Installers of Ireland, the Oil Firing Technical Association, the National Standards Authority of Ireland, HSE, HSA, the Chief Fire Officers’ Association and major Irish energy retailers.

For further Carbon Monoxide information and advice visit