Carbon Monoxide Alarms Now A Legal Requirement

Carbon monoxide alarms are now a legal requirement for all new homes in Northern Ireland.

The law follows the deaths of two teenagers from carbon monoxide poising at a holiday home in County L’Derry in August 2010.

18-year-old Neil McFerran and Aaron Davidson died in an apartment near Coleraine.

Their friend Matthew Gaw, who was also in the apartment, survived.

From 31 October, NI Building Regulations require a carbon monoxide detector or alarm "in the room where the appliance is located. However, if the combustion appliance is installed in a room or space not normally used e.g. a boiler room/cupboard, the detector/alarm should be located just outside the room or space."

The new law will also mean that an alarm must be fitted if a boiler or solid fuel stove is upgraded or replaced.

A new survey has been carried out by the Carbon Monoxide - Be Alarmed! Campaign.

It showed that only 39% of people have a carbon monoxide alarm and that half the UK population believe their smoke alarm will alert them to carbon monoxide gas.

The research was undertaken in September among 3,458 UK adults.

81% of people surveyed know that carbon monoxide can kill.

Carbon monoxide is the result of fuels like gas, oil, coal and wood not burning completely.

This can happen if an appliance like a boiler or cooker is installed incorrectly or is poorly maintained.

The Department of Health estimates 50 people are killed by carbon monoxide poisoning in the UK every year.

4,000 are estimated to be treated in hospital for illness as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning.

But the Carbon Monoxide - Be Alarmed! group says the amount of people affected by carbon monoxide poisoning could be higher, as symptoms are often similar to common illnesses like flu and food poisoning.


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