Carbon monoxide alarms compulsory in NI

Published Wednesday, 31 October 2012
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Carbon monoxide alarms are now mandatory for all new homes in Northern Ireland as a change to building regulations has come into effect.

Carbon monoxide alarms compulsory in NI
Carbon monoxide alarms are now compulsory for all new homes. (© UTV)

The new law makes it compulsory to install a carbon monoxide alarm where a fuel burning appliance is to be provided in a new dwelling.

It also requires an alarm where a new or replacement appliance is to be installed in an existing dwelling.

The Building Regulations legislation was amended after Finance Minister Sammy Wilson proposed the move in March.

He made the announcement following the tragic death of two teenagers in Castlerock.

Aaron Davidson and Neil McFerran, two 18-year-old friends from Newtownabbey, died in August 2010 from carbon monoxide poisoning while staying in a holiday apartment in Castlerock.

A third teenager, Matthew Gaw, survived.

The mothers of the two teenagers helped to launch an awareness campaign against the dangers of the gas. The Health and Safety Executive initiative called on people to regularly service their heating equipment.

Over 60 people have died from carbon monoxide in the region over the past ten years.

Mr Wilson said: "The tragedy in Castlerock, and the subsequent carbon monoxide-related deaths in Irvinestown, have shown all too clearly that a build up of carbon monoxide can be a silent killer in the home.

"Carbon monoxide alarms should not be seen as a substitute for a properly installed and maintained combustion appliance, but such tragedies may be averted by the installation of these relatively inexpensive alarms."

The Minister added that HSENI provide valuable guidance on preventing carbon monoxide poisoning for those who want to protect any existing home. He said the new law should complement the ongoing safety campaign.

He added: "I would recommend that anyone concerned about their fuel burning appliances seeks out that guidance."

© UTV News
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