Since 2015 it has been a legal requirement to have a Carbon Monoxide alarm in your home or place of business if there is a solid fuel combustion appliance; on October 1st 2022 the requirements were extended to all rooms that contained a fixed combustion appliance – regardless of fuel type. 

What is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon Monoxide, known as CO, has no colour, taste, or smell and is produced when fuel burns without air. CO is not to be confused with Carbon Dioxide (CO2) which is of course what we breathe out.

Carbon Monoxide can be produced by cars, grills, fireplaces, gas dryers, gas stoves to name just a few. If your appliance is faulty the effects can be fatal. In the UK 40 people, a year die of CO poisoning and over 200 are hospitalised. 

There are easy ways to spot a CO leak from your appliances, soft yellow flames and smoke in the house are extreme examples however smaller, telltale signs are sooty or discoloured stains on or around gas appliances, increased levels of condensation in rooms with gas appliances, or slower than usual burning of solid fuel fires.

What happens if my alarm starts to beep?

We know your first instinct is ‘what’s that daft alarm going off for? I’ll just turn it off’, but do you know the actual steps you should take?

  1. Turn off any appliances 
  2. Vacate the premises, airing out windows where possible
  3. Ask everyone in the household how they are feeling. Is anyone experiencing a headache, nausea, or dizziness?
  4. If the answer is yes, but mildly, call 111 and speak to a healthcare professional – stay outside, the best initial treatment for CO poisoning is fresh air
  5. If the answer is yes and the affected party has vomited or has intense drowsiness call 999
  6. Call a trusted gas engineer to inspect your system for possible problems. Had a Carbon Monoxide leak?

I’m a landlord, what can I do to keep my tenants safe?

In the 2022 CO requirements, landlords and agents are advised to use ‘sealed for life’ alarms where possible. Ensure all gas safety certificates are up to date (every 12 months) 

Carbon Monoxide exposure can be fatal if left unchecked. If you are worried give us a call on 0161 660 6063.