Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council is urging all householders to install a carbon monoxide alarm.
It comes after a family had a lucky escape from the potentially fatal gas.
A young mother was alerted to the presence of the ‘silent killer’ in her Coleraine home following a visit from a member of Council’s Environmental Health department.
The officer left an alarm in the house after initially detecting low levels of gas. Less than one hour later, the alarm sounded and the NIFRS were tasked to the scene.
An ambulance crew treated two children for symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.
The family has been using an open fire in their living room, and a defective chimney flue is believed to have caused a build-up of the deadly gas.
The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Councillor Joan Baird OBE said: “I would like to commend the actions of the Council Officer, whose diligence has helped to avert a potential tragedy. This situation clearly shows the importance of having a carbon monoxide alarm and I would urge all householders to take appropriate steps to safeguard themselves at home.”
Carbon monoxide is known as the ‘silent killer’ as it is colourless, odourless and tasteless which makes it very difficult to detect. It’s produced by the burning of coal, oil, gas or wood.
Signs of carbon monoxide poisoning include drowsiness, dizziness, headaches, fatigue, muscle pain and nausea. Anyone who suspects they have carbon monoxide poisoning should leave the property immediately and seek medical assistance.
Ensure you have a carbon monoxide alarm in your home. They can be purchased at most DIY stores and should bear either a British Standards Kitemark BS EN 50291 or a CE mark declaration of safety. Alarms can be battery powered or mains fitted. The manufacturer’s instructions should be followed in relation to the positioning of these alarms. They should be tested regularly and replaced as necessary
Make sure all rooms in your home are well ventilated
Ensure all chimneys and flues are cleaned and clear of obstruction
Ensure all heating and cooking appliances are installed, maintained and serviced by a competent person. Any gas appliances should be serviced by a Gas Safe Registered Engineer
Investigate any evidence of soot building up on top of or around heating and cooking appliances.
Gas flames should be a blue colour and any orange or yellow flaming should be investigated
Never light, use or keep a smouldering barbeque inside an enclosed space like a tent.
Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council provides home safety visits, which can help to identify possible issues which could lead to accidents or incidents, including those associated with carbon monoxide. To avail of this free service contact Environmental Services by ringing 028 2766 0257. A Council Officer can also meet with community groups, school groups or other organisations within the Borough to discuss home safety.
To find out more go to www.causewaycoastandglens.gov.uk/live/health-and-built-environment