A young woman, Miriam Reidy, 35, died on Sunday, 16 January 2011 due to carbon monoxide poisoning at a hotel in Co Cork.
Ms Reidy was sharing a bedroom at the Trident hotel with her sister after celebrating the Hen weekend of her cousin. Their room was situated above the boiler room of the hotel.
Ms Reidy sought medical assistance in the early hours of the morning as she felt unwell and also sent a text to a cousin, who had also been at the celebrations, to ask if any one else felt ill. She went back to bed after seeing a doctor, and was discovered dead in her room several hours later. Her sister was found unconscious in the same room.
It is suspected that the tradegy is the result of a build-up of carbon monoxide gas. Safety inspections at the hotel will now take place and until this has been completed the Trident Hotel will remain closed.
Our condolences are with the family of Ms Reidy.
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Now that the nights are drawing in and the temperatures are dropping we are all starting to light our fires. Those with pets will not need to look far to know where their cats and dogs are, if the fire is on they are probably sat directly in front of it.
A study has shown that pet owners are more at risk from Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning than those without. As their cats and dogs snuggle up on the hearth, their hairs can block or restrict air vents intended to ensure adequate ventilation. Partially restricted or blocked flues and vents can lead to incomplete combustion of the gas and the creation of Carbon Monoxide.
To ensure that you are not at risk of Carbon Monoxide poisoning ensure that you clean and hoover vents on a regular basis to prevent the pet hairs clogging them. You should also ensure that gas appliances are serviced on a regular basis. Should you suffer from headaches, feel drowsy or generally unwell when sat in front of the fire, turn the fire off, ventilate the room and contact your gas supplier to check for CO. You can also protect yourself and your pets by purchasing a carbon monoxide alarm. This alarm will alert you should the CO content in room reach dangerous levels.
Everyone should take some time to get familiar with the dangers and potential causes of carbon monoxide.