Ireland’s annual Carbon Monoxide (CO) Awareness Week takes place from 26 September to 2 October 2020. The campaign, originally an initiative by the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER), is designed to raise awareness of the dangers of CO and highlight measures that can be taken to prevent it.
Research commissioned by Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week shows low levels of awareness of the dangers associated with CO and that exposure to CO can cause illness and even death. Over half of those surveyed don’t have an audible carbon monoxide alarm in their property and there is also low level of awareness on where alarms should be installed within a property.
Further research suggests that there is poor public knowledge of the fact that all fossil fuels produce CO when burned. While over three quarters (76%) of those surveyed are aware that gas can produce CO when burned, only half are aware of the link between burning oil.
Regulations setting out minimum standards for rented accommodation were first set out in 1993 with the most recent iteration being the Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) 2019.
Regulation 6 of these standards requires that all rented homes contains, where necessary, suitably located devices for the detection and alarm of carbon monoxide. An important consideration here is that the landlord has the responsibility to ensure the safety detectors in a rented property are fully operational at all times. Analysis of a recent inspection sample shows that almost 30% of the rented housing stock are non-compliant in the provision of such a device.
Regulation 12 requires that installations for the supply of gas, including a gas boiler, should be maintained in good repair and safe working order. In other words, landlords must ensure to have an annual gas boiler service carried out by a Registered Gas Installer (RGI) and be able to provide a copy of a current Gas Service certificate.
Alarms are no substitute for prevention, but if there is potential for carbon monoxide in a property, an alarm to detect and alert is needed. Further information on Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week is available on carbonmonoxide.ie