Boost for local charity’s awareness campaign


A campaign to raise awareness of the potential dangers of carbon monoxide in the home has been given a timely boost.

From October 1, Sprue Safety Products will donate one CO alarm to the Gis a Hug Foundation charity for every 20 FireAngel CO9XT carbon monoxide alarms sold from participating wholesalers in Northern Ireland.

The Gis a Hug Foundation was established in memory of Neil McFerran and Aaron Davidson, both 18, who died from carbon monoxide poisoning at a holiday flat in Castlerock, County Londonderry, three years ago.

It works tirelessly in raising awareness about this silent killer.

To date, the charity has given out 6,000 carbon monoxide alarms to those deemed most at risk, including the elderly, students and other vulnerable groups.

This season’s campaign means that engineers can help the charity to protect even more people.

Catherine McFerran, from Gis A Hug, said: “As well as having your appliances serviced annually, every home should have an audible alarm fitted, as carbon monoxide can come through walls and ceilings from neighbouring properties.”

Brian Trueman, Sprue’s area specification manager for Scotland and Ireland, added: “This is a great opportunity for plumbing and heating engineers to keep more people safe from the dangers of this life-threatening gas.

“We’re thrilled to be working with Gis A Hug on this campaign. The Foundation does a tremendous job in making people aware of the potentially fatal dangers of CO and in protecting the more vulnerable by providing free carbon monoxide alarms. Lives have undoubtedly been saved as a result of their campaigning.”

Carbon monoxide has claimed the lives of more than 60 people in Northern Ireland in the past 10 years, yet research suggests that less than a third of households have CO alarms installed.

Gas Safe Register also estimates that although there is awareness that gas appliances need to be safety checked annually, 43 per cent of Britons don’t do it, and worryingly 10 per cent have gas appliances which have never been checked.

“The new guidance introduced in Northern Ireland last year making carbon monoxide alarms mandatory wherever a new or replacement combustion appliance is installed in a home - regardless of the appliance’s fuel type - will hopefully improve this situation,” added Brian.