The awards keep coming for Tommy

Tommy McAnairey, the animated canary character who is regularly seen on the small screen crooning about the dangers of carbon monoxide, has won the international Institution of Gas Engineers and Managers (IGEM) Gas Safety Award at the Gas Industry Awards.

Gas Networks Ireland’s safety campaign featuring the well-known fictional canary balladeer who has been raising awareness about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning for years was chosen as the winner for its ongoing demonstrated commitment to maintaining and improving the safety of gas network operations to safeguard employees, customers and the general public.

Speaking after he accepted the award at a ceremony in London on Wednesday, Gas Networks Ireland’s Networks Safety Manager, Owen Wilson said;

“Winning this year’s Gas Industry Awards Safety Award is an important validation, however more importantly this safety awareness campaign has helped to increase carbon monoxide alarm ownership by over 200% since 2014.”

Independent research1 commissioned by Gas Networks Ireland shows that three out of every four households in Ireland now own a carbon monoxide alarm, an increase of 200% on 2014 when Gas Networks Ireland first introduced the animated canary character, Tommy McAnairey, in its carbon monoxide awareness campaign.

“We are delighted to see the increase in ownership of carbon monoxide alarms, however not every home has one yet,” Mr Wilson said.

Statistics indicate that, on average, six people die in Ireland every year from carbon monoxide poisoning.  A carbon monoxide alarm can alert you to the presence of this deadly gas and potentially save lives.”

Most homes in Ireland use gas, oil or solid fuels for cooking and heating.  Boilers, cookers, solid fuel fires and other fuel burning appliances can produce dangerous amounts of carbon monoxide if they are not installed properly, are faulty or are not used correctly.

The research indicates that awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide is now as high as 92%.

“Carbon monoxide is an odourless, colourless gas that can be produced when any fuel is burned, including coal, turf, oil, gas and wood. At low levels it can cause sickness and at high levels it can kill in as little as three minutes,” Mr Wilson said.

With Tommy’s help, Gas Networks Ireland draws attention to the seriousness of carbon monoxide poisoning and urges people who already have an alarm to check their device on a monthly basis to ensure it's still working in order to keep their family safe.

This is now the 32nd award for the “Tommy McAnairey” safety campaign having won 31 national and international advertising and related industry awards to date, including winning three Shark awards and three Art Directors of Europe Awards in 2021.

To find out more about the causes, signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning and how to protect yourself and others, visit or call the Carbon Monoxide Awareness Line on 1800 89 89 89.

Gas Networks Ireland also promotes public safety through the gas escapes emergency service, Dial Before You Dig, meter tampering and using a registered gas installer campaigns.


1 Behaviour and Attitudes quantitative research December 2021