18/10/2010

User Guide Recalls Gas Tragedy

A double tragedy in Co Londonderry last summer has been recalled with the launch of a new guide to raise awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.

NI's Chief Medical Officer Dr Michael McBride has commended the guide, Carbon Monoxide: Are You at Risk? to both domestic users and the utilities sector of the construction industry.

It was launched last week, several months after two Newtownabbey teenagers were found dead in a holiday flat with Carbon Monoxide immediately suspected after the teenagers were found and Ambulance crews called to the holiday apartment in Castlerock.

Health and safety officials centred their probe on checking gas appliances inside the holiday apartment at Tunnel Brae Court to trace a leak.

Launching the new guide, Dr McBride said: "Carbon monoxide poisoning causes a number of deaths and hospital admissions each year in Northern Ireland.

"The recent tragedy in Castlerock is a stark reminder that carbon monoxide can be lethal.

"It is vital that we are all vigilant to ensure that we are protected from its dangers. That is why the Department of Health has produced a new guide, which is available on Nidirect.
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"Of course prevention is always better than cure, and the guide contains important information about measures that can be taken to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning from occurring."

Dr McBride continued: "Carbon monoxide poisoning is often called the silent killer because you cannot see or smell the gas.

"It is important that the public is aware of the symptoms, because it can easily be confused with other common conditions. The guide provides clear, simple information on how to spot the warning signs," he said, noting that the guide will complement other measures that are currently being taken in Northern Ireland to raise awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning; help people to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, and help health professionals and the public to spot the warning signs.

See: Castlerock Gas Tragedy Teens Named

See: Plumber Prosecuted For Endangering Lives

See: www.nidirect.gov.uk/carbonmonoxide

(BMcC/GK)

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