Over half of Irish households (55%) don’t have a carbon monoxide alarm

Further information on Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week is available on www.carbonmonoxide.ie
  • Over half of Irish households don’t have a carbon monoxide alarm
  • Majority of Irish households believe they could do more to protect themselves from CO poisoning
  • Low consumer awareness exists of link between certain fossil fuels and CO such as wood and BBQ charcoal
  • 1 in 5 have not had their boiler serviced in two years or longer 
  • 1 in 10 households don’t know when their boiler was serviced last
The Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Mr. Alex White, today launched the results of consumer research commissioned by Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week. This research shows low levels of consumer awareness of the dangers associated with Carbon Monoxide and the preventative measures that can be taken.  Exposure to CO can cause illness and even death - on average, six people in Ireland die each year from accidental CO poisoning according to figures from the HSE. 

The research carried out in August 2014 was unveiled at the launch of the third annual national Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week – a public safety initiative organised by the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) and supported by public bodies and organisations involved in the energy sector and beyond. 

The results shows that over half of those surveyed don’t have an audible carbon monoxide alarm in their home and there is also low level of awareness on where alarms should be installed within the home.  Almost two thirds (65%) admitted they could do more to protect themselves from carbon monoxide poisoning, but the majority of those weren’t sure how best to go about it. 

There is poor public knowledge of the fact that all fossil fuels can produce CO when burned.  While over three quarters (76%) of consumers are aware that gas can produce CO when burned, only half are aware of the link between burning oil and CO and that drops off to only 40% of those who are aware of the potential danger in burning wood and barbecue charcoal.

Although there is a relatively high level of awareness of the importance of regular maintenance and servicing of fuel burning appliances, one in five admitted it had been two years or more since they have last had their boiler serviced, while one in every ten household admitted to not knowing when their boiler was serviced last.  

Speaking at the launch of Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week 2014, Minister White said “As Energy Minister, I fully support Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week.  The fuels we use enable us to heat our homes and cook our food. But they need to be used with care.  I hope that this week’s campaign will raise awareness of the potential dangers and help us all to eliminate unnecessary risks and save lives. I commend all involved with this week’s activities.”

Also speaking at the event, Sheenagh Rooney, Director of Energy Safety and Operations, CER said “CO poses a very real threat to people lives. To ensure the safety of family members and loved ones it is extremely important that all appliances are regularly serviced and that vents, flues and chimneys are kept clear.  This research shows that everyone needs to be more aware that every fossil fuel when burned has the potential to produce CO.”

Further information on Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week is available on www.carbonmonoxide.ie

*Ignite Research carried out a nationally representative quantitative online survey of 1,000 Irish residents over the age of 18.