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Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: What Waterford Landlords Need to Know

In this three-minute read, we examine the dangers posed by carbon monoxide.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning What Waterford Landlords Need to Know

We recently read a statistic about carbon monoxide detectors that left us scratching our heads. According to the NSAI, a whopping 55% of Irish homes do not have a carbon monoxide alarm.

Did you know that by law, any room in a rental property with a solid fuel-burning device or a gas appliance (such as a boiler) should have a working CO alarm? You can find the minimum standards required in an Irish rental property here.

These rules are there for a good reason – carbon monoxide poisoning can cause severe illness and even death. There’s no excuse for complacency.

How is it made?

Carbon monoxide (or CO as it’s chemically known) is a by-product of burning fossil fuels. When fuels like gas, oil, charcoal, wood, or coal fail to burn properly (a process called incomplete combustion, caused by a lack of oxygen), carbon monoxide is produced.

Exposure to it is hazardous to humans and animals.

Detecting it

You can’t see, smell or taste it; hence its nickname, the Silent Killer. To keep safe, you need to ensure carbon monoxide alarms and fuel-burning appliances are in good working order.

Good ventilation is crucial, too. Blocked flues and chimneys are problematic, as are poorly fitted flues. 

Other warning signs include: 

  • Black or brown stain marks around heaters and fireplaces. 
  • Pilot lights on gas appliances that extinguish regularly or burn yellow (they should burn blue).
  • Flames that burn yellow or orange.
  • Excessive condensation in a room where there is a device that burns fossil fuels.
  • Excessive soot.


Signs of CO exposure include vertigo, tiredness, nausea, headaches, chest pains, and blurred vision. The affected person may slip into a coma and then die. The HSE says that on average 6 people die from CO exposure every year.

Keeping your tenants and property safe

Landlords should:

  • Brush up on the regulations and install carbon monoxide alarms where required.
  • Ensure working fireplaces are serviced and swept by a competent person.
  • Have gas appliances regularly serviced by a qualified engineer.
  • Check any carbon monoxide alarms in the property are working when the tenant moves in (note this in the check-in inventory). 
  • Ask tenants to test their CO alarms regularly.
  • Test carbon monoxide alarms during mid-tenancy inspections. 
  • Endeavour to avoid cowboy builders who could bodge boiler and flue installations. 

For more advice about keeping your tenants safe and staying on the right side of the law, contact us here at Liberty Blue.

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