Around the home, children are surrounded by many sources of electricity and gas. Injury can occur in seconds.Take action now:
- Gas, electrical and electronic products for use in the home must comply with specific safety regulations, and they must carry the CE mark.
- Malfunctioning gas or electrical products can lead to serious injury or death - gas appliances can cause carbon monoxide poisoning, and unsafe or broken electrical products can be a fire hazard or electrocution risk. So make sure you follow the product’s instructions carefully.
- With many kinds of electrical or gas equipment like a cooker or boiler, you will need a properly qualified person to install it for you. They should have the relevant certification or registration.
- For example, when getting a gas boiler installed, always use a Registered Gas Installer. Check for a Registered Gas Installer in your area.
- Check the Electrical Contractors Safety and Standards Association or the Register of Electrical Contractors of Ireland for a list of registered electrical contractors in your area.
Safety advice - electricity and electrical products:
- Switch off and plug out electrical equipment when not in use.
- Use short flexes on electrical equipment where possible.
- Keep all electrical equipment (incl hairdryers, straighteners, irons etc) and flexes out of reach of children.
- Keep electrical equipment such as hairdryers, straighteners, toasters, etc away from all sources of water.
- Do not use damaged electric blankets - check electric blankets (and their flexes) regularly for signs of wear and tear.
- Make sure there are no creases in the electric blanket and it lies flat on the mattress.
- Do not use electric blankets at all for young children. They could tamper with the blanket, flex or plug which may result in injury to themselves or a fire.
- Do not overload sockets.
- Do not use damaged electrical appliances.
- Do not leave mobile phones etc charging when you go to bed or go out
- Carbon Monoxide (also known as CO) is highly dangerous. It can occur with gas, oil, coal or other fuels. You can't see it or smell it. In fact it is often called "the silent killer". It is a common yet preventable cause of death from poisoning worldwide.
- When carbon monoxide is inhaled into the body it combines with the blood, preventing it from absorbing oxygen. If a person is exposed to carbon monoxide over a period, it can cause illness and even death.
- You can be in danger of Carbon Monoxide poisoning at home if dangerous amounts of Carbon Monoxide build up in the home. This can happen as a result of any or a combination of the following:
- Faulty or damaged heating appliances
- Heating appliance not maintained or serviced
- Rooms not properly ventilated
- Blocked chimneys or flues
- Indoor use of a barbecue grill or outdoor heater
- Poor installation of heating appliances
- Improper operation of heating appliances
- Property alterations or home improvements, which reduce ventilation
- Running engines such as vehicles or lawnmowers in garages
- Using cooking appliances for heating purposes
- Barbecues have been linked to campsite deaths caused by carbon monoxide poisoning. If you're planning on using a barbecue, whether it's a disposable one, gas or charcoal make sure you keep yourself safe and don't put yourself at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Click here for important safety advice.
- Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide poisoning can be similar to those caused by other illnesses such as a cold or flu. They include
- Unexplained headaches, chest pains or muscular weakness
- Sickness, diarrhoea or stomach pains
- Sudden dizziness when standing up
- General lethargy (sluggishness/lack of energy/unexplained tiredness)
- If anyone in your house has any of the symptoms outlined above get fresh air immediately, then go to your doctor and ask him/her to check for Carbon Monoxide poisoning.
- Stop using the appliance immediately and do not use it again until it has been checked by a registered installer or a qualified service agent.
Know the Danger Signs and know the precautions to take:
- If you detect any of the following warning signs that your appliance is not functioning properly, have a professional service technician fully examine the unit for safety:
- Staining, sooting or discolouration around the appliance
- Appliances that burn slowly, badly (orange or 'floppy' flames) or go out
- A yellow or orange flame where normally blue
- Condensation or dampness on walls and windows in the room once the appliance is lit
- A strange smell when the appliance is on
- Rusting or water streaking on appliance cabinet/vent/chimney
- Loose or disconnected vent/chimney connections or guards
- Follow safety precautions and get advice on home appliances.
- Use Carbon Monoxide alarms but remember these are no substitute for regular inspection and maintenance of appliances, vents, flues and chimneys. Check that the Carbon Monoxide alarm complies with the EN 50291 standard.
For further information, please visit www.carbonmonoxide.ie
In an emergency the "blue light" services - Garda Síochána, ambulance, fire and Irish Coast Guard - can be contacted by dialling 112 or 999 (www.112.ie).
Most unintentional injuries (often called accidents) can be prevented:
Remember the key message where child safety is concerned -
Watch your child at all times, as children do not understand danger