Preferred CO detectors should contain a very loud and shrill alarm and be have British Standards certification. These typically have batteries which will have a long lifetime typically to five years and have a loud alarm which goes off when carbon monoxide fumes are detected giving you time to evacuate the room.

If you get the choice selects one of the electronic detectors. There are an alternative type of detector in the market which use chemicals to test for any circulating carbon monoxide in the air. To check whether the lethal gas has been detected you will be required to compare the colour and chemicals on the card with alternative colours in the manufacturer’s instructions. This type of detector gives an indication that carbon monoxide has been detected through colour changes on the card. The limited life time of these type of testers is a major drawback and places a responsibility on you to schedule when need to be changed. Whilst colour change detectors can be effective their major defect is that they have no way of alerting you to an issue unless you are looking at the car and having no sound alarm capability can be an issue.

Purchasing carbon monoxide detectors

Carbon monoxide units and detectors can be effective in preventing incidences of carbon monoxide poisoning. Whether you are shopping in the street or on the web you now have the option of a couple of cover monoxide detector types. It is the presence and gradual buildup of carbon monoxide in an area that sets of your detector. Now most homes have a standard smoke detector and their design has become stable, it has not yet been established that the latest, monoxide detection units have reached the same reliability levels as smoke detectors however the new technology is fast becoming robust. You should ensure you have regular servicing of your appliances and treat your carbon monoxide detector as a secondary, backup measure. It is not your first line of defence.

The advantages of having a detector in your home

Early warning of heightened CO levels can ensure that fatalities do not occur. Battery driven carbon monoxide alarms have the ability to issue an audible alarm before the levels of gas have have developed to become of concern to a group of. Carbon monoxide detection units need to be installed in a different way to the common smoke detector which you might be more familiar with. As an example these types of unit do not require to be fitted on the ceiling or upper part of a wall. If your alarm can be heard when you are in the bedroom then you can be certain that it should be able to wake you when sleeping if required.

The operation of detectors must be checked frequently

A carbon monoxide detector is only effective if it is working correctly so you need to regularly test the unit. Refer to the manufacturer instructions to learn how to check that the detector is operating correctly. A detector should be checked at least once per month to confirm it is working properly, if it fails replace it with a new detector without delay. On this point not everyone understands that the test facility on these alarm is actually testing the power of the battery and that the alarm is audible, they are not checking the carbon monoxide levels at which the alarm will trigger. Be aware that there is a limited operating lifespan for these detectors, for or five years typically, so you need to check this and replace the unit when it has expired. There are some recent detectors now available which are able to function for 60 months. The power supply is also have variations with some being mains operated, some being battery-operated and if you of the mains operated devices having a battery backup. The choice is yours.

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is virtually undetectable by our senses meaning that we are completely unaware of its presence. Typical gas fire or boiler operation produces harmless gases but lack of oxygen can result in Carbon Monoxide creation. The standard flue gases from a boiler contain Carbon Dioxide, this is displaced by Carbon Monoxide when the oxygen levels are reduced. As regulations have been adopted requiring less ventilation for gas boilers the incidences of carbon monoxide poisoning have reduced. This has been further reinforced by the wide availability of boiler servicing plans making a real reduction in the number of unsafe boilers.

Can you identify a problem if you look at your gas appliances?

If you want you can conduct a quick visual inspection of your gas appliances and keep an eye out for any staining, sooting or similar type of discoloration on or around gas boilers, fires and water heaters. Inspecting gas pilot lights can provide a suggestion of a problem as the colour of the pilot light in the appliance could change it’s colour from blue to yellow. If you notice your system operating with a yellow light call in and experience boiler maintenance engineer the same day.

What actions can I take to reduce the chances of Carbon Monoxide toxicity?

The fundamental reason that carbon monoxide gas is developed is down to the fact that there is a lack of ventilation in the boiler combustion chamber. Gas appliance engineers will check the ventilation and combustion efficiency of your gas appliances during the regular maintenance visits eliminating the causes of poor combustion. It is essential that the gas boiler maintenance team employed are properly qualified and up to date on the latest regulations – the gas safe and is your guide to this. Fitting a carbon monoxide detector with an audible alarm is also a valuable investment to provide quick and rapid warning of potential carbon monoxide poisoning. Provision of the recommended ventilation to gas appliances is essential and you should regularly inspect any ventilation vents to ensure that the flow of air can be maintained. Garden plants can also be a danger to you as growth throughout the summer can block air vents to a boiler which may not be in operation until the cold weather returns.

As outlandish as it may seem a birds nest may block the ventilation from your chimney and you may not notice if a fire is not used in the middle of the year so it could be a good idea to visually check this from the outside. An annual gas fire appliance service should pick this up with a smoke test for the unit. Know the difference between the sound of smoke alarms and CO alarms. If the detector triggers and starts emitting a loud din make sure it is your CO detector and not your smoke detector.

How dangerous is Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?

If there is any suspicion of carbon monoxide in your house do not delay and take action immediately. Delay is a major cause of fatalities and you cannot replay the clock if you dillydally with carbon monoxide. Take action today and ensure you are able to take action tomorrow. Age and good health are no defence against poisoning from carbon monoxide. Your pets could also be injured or worse.

What might I see if there was carbon monoxide in my home?

You may observe common flu like symptoms in someone who is actually suffering from Carbon Monoxide inhalation with features like: –
– persistent headaches
– balance problems
– weariness
– upset stomach and sickness

A CORGI certified gas engineer should be brought in to inspect your gas appliances if you notice these symptoms in your family. Whilst waiting for the engineer to arrive you should ensure that you have opened the windows and everyone has left the house.


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