For the safety of you and your family, it is advisable to fit a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm in your home. Just like a smoke alarm which alerts you to the presence of smoke, a carbon monoxide detector will alert you to the presence of CO.
The problem with CO is that it is invisible and has no smell or taste, so you might not realise it is there. Smoke alarms do not detect carbon monoxide.
Gas Safe Register recommends the use of audible carbon monoxide alarms. It should be marked to EN 50291 and also have the British Standards’ Kitemark or another European approval organisation’s mark on it. CO alarms usually have a battery life of up to 5 years.
Fit an alarm in each room with a gas appliance. Always follow the alarm manufacturer’s instructions on siting, testing and replacing the alarm.
It is important to choose an alarm that will wake you up if you’re asleep, or you may not be aware of early CO symptoms until it is too late.
Carbon monoxide alarms cost around £15 – £20 and can be purchased from your local DIY store, supermarket or from your energy supplier.
Ask your Gas Safe registered engineer if you are not sure which alarm to buy or how to fit it – your engineer will be able to advise you.
A carbon monoxide alarm is no substitute for correct installation and servicing of your gas appliances. Make sure you get your gas appliances checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer every year.