West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Be alert to dangers of Carbon Monoxide as pensioner has lucky escape

Published: 7 January, 2013

Strabane Sinn Féin Councillor Jay Mc Cauley has called on people to be alert to the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning after the daughter of a pensioner found her mother passed out in her St John's Place home at the weekend with it subsequently being established that her condition was caused by the inhalation of the CO gases being omitted from her open fire. Cllr Mc Cauley said, "Carbon monoxide, as a colourless, odourless, toxic gas is for obvious reason known as the silent killer and if this lady's daughter had not arrived on time to discover her mother then the consequences do not bear thinking about. Her daughter has therefore asked me to highlight the dangers of Carbon Monoxide and to encourage every family to have an Audible Carbon Monoxide alarm fitted to their home. Early symptoms of Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning can mimic many common ailments and may easily be confused with food poisoning, viral infections, flu or simple tiredness. Symptoms to look out for include: Headache, Nausea, Breathlessness, Dizziness, Collapse, unconsciousness. So if you or your family experience any of the above symptoms and you believe CO may be involved, you must seek urgent medical advice from either your GP or an accident and emergency department. "There are different potential sources of carbon monoxide within your home including appliances fuelled with solid fuels or gas and it is important to ensure such appliances are installed and maintained properly. "In this case, the Housing Executive has now investigated the potential source but found no blockage in the chimney so even with preventative precautions the risk of CO omissions cannot be fully guarded against. I have arranged to have an audible Carbon Monoxide alarm fitted in this lady's home. "The Health and Safety Executive strongly recommends the use these alarms as a useful back-up precaution and I would urge every family to invest in one of these as it could make the difference between life and death. They are sold in many retail outlets including DIY/Hardware stores, online sales, supermarkets and trade retail stores. The prices can range from £20 to £30 each."