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Carbon Monoxide Detectors… Can Prevent Danger To You and Your Family in The Home.

Do I Really Need Carbon Monoxide Detectors Yes, because Carbon Monoxide Gas (CO) is a toxic gas, which is odourless, tasteless and colourless and can be a danger to you and your family in the home, since if it is present you will not be aware of it.

This is why it is important to find out about carbon monoxide detectors, so that you know how to protect your family.  

What is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon Monoxide is produced by the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels such as, gas, oil, coal and wood used in boilers; engines, oil burning stoves, propane grills, water heaters, gas fires, solid fuel appliances and open fires. It is also formed in the thermal or incomplete decomposition of many organic materials and in other chemical reactions.

When as a result of faulty installation, poor maintenance, break down or damage to an appliance in use, the fuel is not burned properly, dangerous amounts of CO can accumulate, especially where rooms are not properly ventilated to allow the Carbon Monoxide to escape.

As a result of improved insulation and double glazing in modern homes, it has become increasingly important to ensure good room ventilation; regularly maintain all home appliances and fit reliable carbon monoxide poisoning alarms, thus providing you with both a visual and audible warning, immediately there is a build up of dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. Remember it has no smell, taste or colour!

What are the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning?

Carbon Monoxide produces the following symptoms in people exposed to the concentrations shown in the given time:-

  • 50 parts per million (PPM) -is the safety level specified by the Health and Safety Executive.
  • 200 PPM – produces a slight headache within 2-3 hours.
  • 400 PPM – experience a frontal headache within 1-2 hours and becoming widespread in 3 hours.
  • 800 PPM – results in dizziness, nausea, convulsions within 45 minutes, insensible in 2 hours.

Carbon Monoxide enters the lungs by the normal breathing process and poisons by displacing oxygen from the bloodstream. Lack of the normal supply of oxygen affects the heart, brain and other vital bodily functions.

Some people are more susceptible to carbon monoxide poisoning and liable to be first to show symptoms more quickly than others in the household e.g. persons suffering from heart or respiratory health problems, infants, small children, expectant mothers and unborn children, or pets.

As we have said carbon monoxide is odourless, colourless and tasteless, so without the aid of a carbon monoxide poisoning detectors, to alert you to increasing dangerous levels of CO, you wouldn’t know what hit you!

DTI – UK Statistics Carbon Monoxide Poisoning. On average 50 people each year are killed from the build-up of dangerous levels of carbon monoxide due to faulty home heating appliances. Most cases of carbon monoxide poisoning are due to inadequate ventilation, blocked or leaky flues or poor maintenance of heating appliances. Carbon monoxide poisoning deaths:- In the period 1989–1998, there were 533 deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning in the UK:-

  • 438 in England and Wales.
  •  46 in Scotland.
  • 49 in Northern Ireland.

More information here:-


Carbon Monoxide Detectors are Affordable. – especially when you consider the risks – get one NOW before tragedy strikes.

Hints and Tips:-

  •  Buy only Carbon monoxide alarms, which are officially approved (and kite marked where appropriate) to the major CO Alarm standards. Which are BS7860 (British), EN50291 (European), and UL2034 (American).
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for placing carbon monoxide alarms in your home.
  • Treat every activation as real, and have a professional check it out.
  • On activation, evacuate everyone from your home immediately and leave the door open for ventilation on your way out.
  • Notify the fire service from a neighbour’s home.
  • Test your carbon monoxide detectors at least once a month, as per the manufacturer’s instructions and replace detectors and batteries as advised, usually every five years.
  • NB Carbon monoxide detectors do NOT function as smoke detectors and vice versa.

The Law

The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 (GSIUR), require certain landlords to maintain gas appliances and flues provided for their tenants to use, in a safe condition and must have them checked annually for safety by a Council of Registered Gas Installer (CORGI) registered gas installer, to provide a copy of the safety check record to tenants and to keep a record of those checks.

Appliances fueled by non-gas combustible fuels such as coal, solid fuels, wood, oil and paraffin etc are not within the scope of these regulations.

More Useful Information here:-
Carbon Monoxide Safety

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