Sa, 4.02.2023
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Dangerous gas appliances claim fresh victims

Uwe Gnadenteich
, reporter
Dangerous gas appliances claim fresh victims
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Photo: Uwe Gnadenteich

Wednesday night at about 9:30 pm, Alarm Centre was notified of kids aged about 2 and 5 feeling bad at Kopli St, Northern Tallinn while they took their evening bath. 

«In the apartment, gas-based heater is used to warm the bathwater. As mother saw the smaller child about to pass out, she promptly called the ambulance and rescuers, and opened windows. The children were taken to children’s hospital to be examined, and were there through the night under monitoring,» said Northern rescue centre press rep Indrek Hirs. By last night, both kids were in good health again.

Mr Hirs said that this year Northern Tallinn has had several severe accidents with children, due to gas boilers. He underlined the importance for people to have their gas appliances inspected by experts, pointing to the hazards posed by carbon monoxide being without odour, colour and taste, and potentially lethal.

By today, Technical Regulatory Authority experts have checked the entire house, accompanied by police and rescuers, and inspecting the gas appliances.  

They reported two more apartments potentially dangerous. In one, thorough renovations had the boiler totally built in the wall and covered with no openings.

Thankfully, majority of apartments had extra holes drilled for air to have access, and several flats had stationary carbon monoxide detectors.  

Apartments in such risk group are about 34,000 in Estonia, said Technical Regulatory Authority. Mainly, they have been built in the 1950ies, 1960ies and 1970ies, in Tallinn and Ida-Virumaa.

According to Technical Regulatory Authority data, accidents are not caused by old gas boilers. «Rather, the danger lurks where renovations have been made, all apertures covered up, and the gas appliance wrongly installed,» said the experts.