March 29 2012

Seven out of 10 Northern Ireland households are at risk because they fail to service their boilers annually, a survey said.

Carbon monoxide poisoning is among hazards posed if units are not properly maintained, electricity supplier Power NI warned.

Spokeswoman Jenny Livingstone said: “Skipping a service could lead to a false economy as ultimately having a boiler serviced can save money by ensuring the heating system is working efficiently, prolonging the life of the boiler and saving money in the long run.”

In a survey of 250 customers, 69% of Power NI customers said they have not undertaken the recommended annual boiler check. Out of these, 20% have not had a service in the last two to five years, with 12% claiming to never have had their boiler inspected.

Power NI’s survey also revealed that almost one in four customers (24%) were not aware that boilers should be serviced on an annual basis.

According to the Coroner’s Service, from January 1 2008 to November 25 2010 there were 31 carbon monoxide-related deaths in Northern Ireland.

In August 2010, two teenagers awaiting their A-level results died from the fumes at a holiday apartment at Castlerock on the North Coast.

Since the deaths of Aaron Davidson and Neill McFerron, both 18, from the Ballyclare area north of Belfast, there has been a campaign to have as many carbon monoxide detectors installed in properties as possible.