Watch out for any of the warning signs that your appliance is not functioning properly:
- Staining, sooting or discolouration around the appliance.
- A yellow or orange flame where normally blue.
- Condensation or dampness on walls and windows in the room once the appliance is lit.
- A strange smell when the appliance is on.
- Rusting or water streaking on appliance cabinet/vent/chimney.
- Loose or disconnected vent/chimney connections or guards.
IF YOU DETECT ANY OF THESE CONDITIONS, HAVE A PROFESSIONAL SERVICE TECHNICIAN EXAMINE THE UNIT FOR SAFETY.
Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide poisoning can be similar to those caused by other illnesses such as a cold or flu and may include:
- Unexplained headaches, chest pains or muscular weakness
- Sickness, diarrhoea or stomach pains
- Sudden dizziness when standing up
- General lethargy
What to Do?
- If anyone in your house has any of the symptoms outlined above get fresh air immediately, then go to your doctor or accident and emergency department and ask to be checked for Carbon Monoxide poisoning.
- Stop using the appliance immediately and do not use it again until it has been checked by a registered installer or a qualified service agent.
- If you find a person ill or unconscious and suspect Carbon Monoxide poisoning, ventilate the area immediately by opening windows and doors. Call 999.
What is Carbon Monoxide (CO)?
Carbon Monoxide (also known as CO) is a colourless, odourless, tasteless poisonous gas and is a common yet preventable cause of death from poisoning worldwide. Approximately half of the deaths from unintentional CO poisoning result from the inhalation of smoke from fires. Other significant causes are vehicle exhausts and deaths in industrial/commercial settings. On average between 1 and 2 people die each year in Ireland from unintentional CO poisoning in the home in incidents related to domestic heating or other fossil fuel installations in the home (i.e. excluding the inhalation of smoke from fires).The incomplete combustion of organic fossil fuels such as oil, gas or coal is a common environmental source of CO and is responsible for many cases of non-fatal unintentional CO poisoning.
In normal conditions the combustion process (the addition of oxygen) will result in carbon in the fossil fuel, combining with oxygen in the air, to produce Carbon Dioxide (CO2), the same substance we exhale when we breathe. However, if there is a lack of air for the combustion process or the heating appliance is faulty, Carbon Monoxide can be produced.
When CO is inhaled into the body it combines with the blood, preventing it from absorbing oxygen. If a person is exposed to CO over a period, it can cause illness and even death. Carbon Monoxide has no smell, taste or colour. This is why it is sometimes called the "Silent Killer".
Carbon Monoxide alarms can be used as a backup to provide a warning to householders in the event of a dangerous build-up of CO. Check that the Carbon Monoxide alarm complies with the EN 50291 standard.
CARBON MONOXIDE ALARMS ARE NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR REGULAR INSPECTION AND MAINTENANCE OF APPLIANCES, VENTS, FLUES AND CHIMNEYS.
For more information please visit http://www.carbonmonoxide.ie/
What you should know about gas appliance servicing, installation and repair:
- All gas appliances, be they for Natural Gas or LPG, by law, must be installed by a registered gas installer.
- From 26 June 2009 it became a legal requirement to be registered with the Registered Gas Installers of Ireland (RGII) to install, repair or service a Natural Gas appliance.
- From 27 June 2011 it became a legal requirement to be registered with the Registered Gas Installers of Ireland (RGII) to install, repair or service an LPG gas appliance.
- A Registered Gas Installer will give you an RGII certificate of conformance for every job carried out.
- If your installer is not RGII registered and does not present a certificate of conformance, then, in the event of a gas incident, your home insurance will not cover the cost of damages. A non-registered gas installer may also face a fine of up to €15,000 and/or 6 months imprisonment.
What is a Registered Gas Installer (RGI)?
An RGI is an installer who has at least a GID (Gas Installer Domestic) qualification or equivalent in gas safety which makes him/her competent to carry out gas works. He/She will also have a valid insurance and will have paid the annual subscription fee which entitles him/her to be on the register of RGIs and carry an ID Card with a valid date.
Benefits of using an RGI:
By using an RGI you have the peace of mind that you are dealing with a trained installer who has the required expertise in gas safety to ensure your gas installation is safe.
How do I recognize an RGI:
Each RGI carries an ID Card which is renewed annually. The ID on the card is a number from R0001 to R3000 and the photo is one of the installer. Ensure the card is in date.
For further information visit www.rgii.ie