Carbon Monoxide’s known as ‘The Invisible Killer’ it’s a scentless and colourless gas undetectable by sight or smell. Carbon monoxide gas prevents blood cells carrying enough oxygen which causes organs to fail. High levels can kill people quickly while exposure to low levels can cause permanent damage.
Any appliance that burns fuel to generates heat poses a potential carbon monoxide risk, having your appliances installed and serviced by a Gas Safe Engineer will go a long way in protecting you and your family. Every home should have Carbon Monoxide Detectors installed in various places around the home. An alarm is the only way to detect a Carbon Monoxide leak.
Carbon Monoxide Alarms monitor Carbon Monoxide levels and will beep continuously if levels are dangerous so you and your family can evacuate your home safely and call an emergency gas engineer.
Carbon Monoxide detectors are sometimes confused with smoke alarms; you need both smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. All in one smoke/carbon monoxide detectors are available, but most smoke alarms won’t detect carbon monoxide, and most carbon monoxide detectors won’t detect smoke so in most cases you need an alarm for each.
Carbon monoxide alarms are available online, and from most DIY stores they are inexpensive. Always check they conform to the British Standard 50291 and have a British or EU Kitemark.
Where to place Carbon Monoxide Alarms
- Place a detector in every room that has a fuel-burning appliance such as a boiler, gas fire or a gas oven
- Position alarms at your head height this is breathing level and the most effective position
- Make sure the alarm isn’t covered up, ie, behind a cupboard door or a curtain
- Make sure alarms are at least 1 meter away from appliances
- Keep alarms some distance from extractor fans
- Don’t fix alarms to your ceiling
- For maximum safety, put an alarm in every room of your house
Carbon Monoxide Alarm Maintenance
Always read the manufacturers instructions when it comes to placing your alarms and check the expiry date. Most detectors will give you 5-7 years of service but always replace when the expiry date’s up (the date should be marked on the back of the alarm)
Regularly check your alarm with the ‘test’ button if for some reason your alarm isn’t working replace immediately
Always replace batteries when they get low, your alarm will tell you when it’s time to replace batteries by emitting a single beep at regular intervals.
Please take a look at our Carbon Monoxide Services for more information on Carbon Monoxide safety