Your guide to Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

The information below is intended as a general guide only and will give you an outline of what Carbon Monoxide Poisoning is and how you can prevent it. For more information, you should visit www.carbonmonoxide.ie or contact 1850 797 979 Monday - Friday, 8am - 8pm; Saturday, 9am - 5.30pm; to arrange a safety inspection.

Carbon Monoxide poisoning

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is produced by the incomplete burning of various fuels, including coal, wood, charcoal, oil, kerosene, propane, and natural gas.

Because CO is odourless, colourless, and otherwise undetectable to the human senses, it can kill quickly without warning. The initial symptoms of low to moderate CO poisoning are similar to the flu (but without the fever) and include headache, fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea and dizziness.

Higher level CO poisoning results in progressively more severe symptoms, including confusion, vomiting, loss of muscular coordination and loss of consciousness.

Should Carbon Monoxide poisoning symptoms be experienced when using a gas appliance, you should immediately turn the appliance off and make an appointment to see your doctor. Ask your doctor to check for Carbon Monoxide poisoning.

You should always make sure there is enough fresh air in the room containing your gas appliance. And if you have a chimney or a flue, make sure it is not blocked and also ensure that vents are not covered.

Carbon Monoxide alarms

Carbon Monoxide alarms are a very useful precaution against Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning. These alarms will detect the presence of Carbon Monoxide in your home and can aid in your defence against CO poisoning.

When buying your Carbon Monoxide alarm, check that the alarm complies with the EN 50291 standard. And be sure to purchase an audible or loud alarm as you are particularly vulnerable to CO poisoning when asleep. You can buy a Carbon Monoxide alarm from your nearest hardware store.

Remember, Carbon Monoxide alarms should only be seen as a precautionary system and are no replacement for safe boiler installation and maintenance by a Registered Gas Installer.

See more information on Gas Safety at home.
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