November is Carbon Monoxide Awareness Month

Date published: 31 October 2016

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Carbon Monoxide (CO) Awareness Month returns this November and the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) would like to remind everyone of the dangers of Carbon Monoxide poisoning.

CO Awareness Month logo

Appliances fuelled with gas, oil, kerosene, coal, peat or wood may produce carbon monoxide.  If such appliances are not installed, maintained, and used properly CO may accumulate to dangerous and even deadly levels in homes, cars or poorly ventilated areas.

The ‘silent killer’ as carbon monoxide (CO) is often known is odourless, colourless, tasteless and in high concentrations can be fatal in a matter of minutes.

The best way to protect yourself is to ensure all fuel-burning appliances are checked and serviced annually by a registered engineer. Chimneys and flues should also be inspected annually and swept, if required, by a registered technician.

Installing an audible carbon monoxide alarm is an additional precaution however it is important to remember that they have a limited life span.  Now therefore is a good time to check your current CO alarm is working as it may be time to purchase a new one.

During November you can help raise awareness by sharing HSENI’s CO safety messages posted on our social media channels:

For more information on Carbon Monoxide visit our topic page: 

Notes to editors: 

  1. Audible carbon monoxide alarms can offer a back-up precaution to the servicing of fuel burning appliances in all homes. While carbon monoxide alarms can help alert you to the dangers if CO gas escapes, they must never be regarded as a substitute for the proper installation, maintenance, servicing and cleaning of appliances that use gas, coal, oil or any other solid fuel.
  2. Carbon monoxide alarms are a mandatory requirement for all new homes built in Northern Ireland after a change to The Building Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012 came into operation on 31 October 2012.
  3. The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) is an Executive Non-Departmental Public Body, sponsored by the Department for the Economy. 
  4. HSENI is the lead body responsible for the promotion and enforcement of health and safety at work in Northern Ireland.

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