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Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Date Published 22.09.2017
Topic Home Insurance

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning | AIG Ireland

Known as the ‘silent killer’ Carbon Monoxide Poisoning kills six people,  on average, in Ireland every year.

Yet, a recent survey by AIG Ireland showed almost half (46%) of Irish people don’t have a carbon monoxide alarm in their home.

As we move towards Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week 2017 (25th September – 1st October) we wanted to help you understand more about carbon monoxide poisoning and the easy steps you can take to keep your family safe.

There are a number of easy actions to take to prevent poisoning from carbon monoxide:

1) Get an EU certified carbon monoxide alarm

Put an inexpensive EU certified carbon monoxide alarm into any room that contains your fire or boiler.

2)  Professional installation of appliances

Ensure all boilers, cooker and heating systems are installed by a registered professional. Don’t attempt to install an appliance like this yourself. If these systems are not installed or maintained properly then carbon monoxide can leak, exposing people in the vicinity to the harmful gas. Poisoning can occur in as little as 3 minutes, depending on the amount of the gas leaked from the appliance. If the leak is small it may take longer for symptoms to appear.


3)  Service appliances regularly

Carbon monoxide is produced when fuels like gas, coal and wood don’t burn properly. These fuels are often used in:

  • Open fires
  • Boilers
  • Gas fires
  • Central heating systems

Get these kind of appliances serviced by a registered professional and chimneys swept by qualified sweep as recommended.

4) Know what carbon monoxide poisoning is 

Carbon monoxide is a clear, poisonous gas without a taste or smell. It is harmful to people when inhaled. Carbon monoxide will mix with the hemoglobin in your blood and prevent it from being able to carry oxygen so, in time, your body’s tissue and cells with fail.

carbon monoxide poisoning

5) Know the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning

What makes carbon monoxide poisoning difficult to diagnose is that many of the early symptoms are similar to illnesses like flu or a stomach bug including:

  • Headache
  • Sickness or stomach pains
  • Dizziness

However if the symptoms ease as you move around the house and you rely on carbon based heating then you may need to take action. have a useful table on the physical effects of various levels of the gas.

6) Know how to treat carbon monoxide poisoning

If your carbon monoxide alarm sounds, leave the house immediately. Fresh air should help any symptoms. If you don’t have an alarm and you think you have been exposed to very high levels of carbon monoxide seek medical attention.

Carbon monoxide awareness week

There’ll be lots more information about carbon monoxide poisoning over Carbon Monoxide awareness week (25th September – 1st October 2017), keep an eye out for expert interviews on RTÉ’s Today Show. Be in with a chance to win a carbon monoxide alarm on the Nicky Byrne Show with Jenny Greene on RTÉ. Finally keep an eye on and your social media for a fun competition based around Dublin city center. As Irish energy providers and energy participants in Carbon Monoxide Week, Energia remind us;

“Be clever humans and remember three key messages when it comes to this silent killer; remember the cause, remember to service and remember the alarm”.

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