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Dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning

It's Carbon Monoxide Awareness Month, which aims to raise awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is a potential killer. It's important to get oil and gas boilers and appliances properly installed and serviced every year. It's also advisable to get an audible carbon monoxide alarm.

Signs and symptoms

Carbon monoxide is a highly poisonous gas which is impossible to see, taste or smell. Anyone who uses an appliance that burns a fossil fuel including gas, oil and coal, as well peat and wood, is potentially at risk from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Unfortunately, symptoms can often be difficult to diagnose as they mimic those of other common illnesses such as flu and headaches. The signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include:

  • headaches
  • dizziness
  • breathlessness
  • nausea
  • collapse and loss of consciousness

You can find out more about the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning at the page below:

Anyone who suspects they are suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning should immediately go outside into the fresh air and seek urgent medical attention.

Have boilers and appliances serviced

The message is clear and simple – having boilers and appliances serviced annually can protect from the dangers of carbon monoxide. Make sure chimneys and flues are cleaned at least once a year too.

The following pages have useful information about gas safety and how to arrange getting an appliance serviced:

Further information from the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland can be found at:

It is now compulsory for all new homes in Northern Ireland to have a carbon monoxide alarm installed.

More useful links