Ireland’s fifth annual Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week takes place in Ireland from 26th September to 2nd October in this year. Each year, the campaign aims to raise awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide and highlight the measures that can be taken to prevent it.
Carbon monoxide can, and does, kill. On average, six people in Ireland die every year as a result of unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning and many more are made ill. The gas is colourless, odourless, hard to detect and, at high levels, can kill in less than three minutes.
Carbon monoxide can be produced by any fossil fuel when burned – coal, turf, oil, gas or even wood. There are a number of preventative measures that can be put in place to reduce the risk of CO poisoning. They include having your fuel burning appliances serviced annually by a Registered Gas Installer, Registered OFTEC Technician or qualified service technician for your fuel type. For added protection, audible carbon monoxide alarms should be installed where fuel burning appliances are used.
There are a number of important safety messages that designers and builders should be aware of to help prevent carbon monoxide poisoning:
1) Ensure that fuel burning appliances used on site (e.g. generators, engine powered equipment and even temporary heating equipment etc.) are properly installed, serviced and are operated safely, for example, in well ventilated areas.
2) Use a competent installer to install heating/ fuel burning appliances (e.g. A Registered Gas Installer for gas appliances, a registered OFTEC technician for oil appliances etc.);
2) Remember, building regulations require carbon monoxide alarms to be installed in most cases;
3) If doing alteration works to a property, do not compromise existing flueing and ventilation arrangements;
4) If in doubt, seek expert advice from a competent installer.
The awareness week is a public safety initiative supported by organisations across the energy sector and related industries as well as safety and public health bodies including the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER), Gas Networks Ireland, Register of Gas Installers of Ireland (RGII), Oil Firing Technical Association (OFTEC), Solid Fuel Trade Group, National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI), Health Service Executive, Health and Safety Authority, Chief Fire Officers’ Association and major Irish energy retailers.
Extensive advertising will run throughout the campaign including TV and radio promotions. Interviews with experts in the field and people who have been affected by carbon monoxide poisoning will also feature across the media. The Minister for Communications, Climate Action & Environment, Denis Naughten, T.D., is expected to launch the campaign in Dublin City centre on Monday 26th September.
Tommy McAnairey, the animated, ballad-singing canary created to drive awareness about carbon monoxide, will feature prominently in the campaign again this year. Keep an eye out for his activities throughout Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week!
Organisations that are interested in supporting the campaign can avail of free Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week posters, flyers and information leaflets for display and distribution to staff and customers. Please contact the Gas Networks Ireland contact centre on at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 1850 200 694 for more information.
As well as that, Registered Gas Installers and Registered OFTEC Technicians will be able to receive promotional materials directly by contacting the RGII and OFTEC. As there will be extensive advertising in the run up to, and throughout Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week, queries and questions about carbon monoxide may increase.
Gas Networks Ireland is also encouraging all retailers who stock carbon monoxide alarms that comply with European Standard EN 50291, to ensure they are CE marked, have an audible end of life indicator and feature the mark of independent certification such as a Kitemark.
Carbon monoxide alarm manufacturers, EI Electronics and Fireangel are supporters of Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week and may be able to provide branded merchandising material to enhance the messaging around the overall campaign.
- View this short video for advice on the best place to locate carbon monoxide alarms in your home.
- Download The Facts About Carbon Monoxide information leaflet. Download the leaflet
- View Tommy’s TV ad
- Click to find out more about the organisations participating in Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week
For further information on Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week 2016, please visit www.carbonmonoxide.ie