herald

Wednesday 15 August 2018

Gas alarm team has no poison detectors

BORD GAIS technicians do not carry carbon monoxide detectors when they are first called to an emergency.

The emergency gas line is the first port of call for customers who suspect a leak, or who are concerned about poisoning and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

However, if a Bord Gais customer is concerned about carbon monoxide (CO), the initial first contact will not carry a device to detect the presence of the poisonous substance.

A Bord Gais spokesman said their responsibility is to eliminate the risk of a gas leak and carbon monoxide, but they do not test for CO.

"The gas emergency line, 1850 205050, is for gas escapes, with a response time of less than one hour," they said.

"These initial fitters 'first responders' do not carry CO monitors at this stage -- they check for gas leaks and carry out initial site assessment for signs of a potential CO issue -- check that there is adequate ventilation, visual check on appliance flames colour, evidence of any soot or condensation also check with occupants to see if anyone has experienced headaches or nausea.

"And they ensure there area is made safe."

However, the representative for Bord Gais outlined that if there was any evidence to suggest a potential CO issue exists, the natural gas supply is disconnected and a review of the installation is carried out, including CO checks.





Exposure

The Health and Safety Authority said that in the past seven years, there were five work-related fatalities attributed to exposure to carbon monoxide.

Employees at risk are those working in locations where there is faulty or inefficient fuel-burning equipment or with fuel burning appliances.

Fire risk management consultant Len Brennan from LNB said that CO alarms are different to standard smoke detectors and detectors can be bought for around €30.

clairemurphy@herald.ie

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