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Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Did you know? The Department of Health have reported that accidental Carbon Monoxide poisoning accounts for at least 50 deaths per year and causes at least 4,000 medical visits. Carbon Monoxide is a particularly dangerous gas, as it can’t be smelled, tasted or seen! It can often be produced in the home when fuel burning appliances, like boilers and cookers, have a fault or are not maintained or serviced appropriately. It’s therefore extremely important that Carbon Monoxide detectors are installed in your home and checked regularly, along with your fuel burning appliances, by registered engineers.

Having decided you want to update or buy a carbon monoxide detector for your property; it is important you know what technology is available and where to fit the alarm. Here are the main things to consider before making your purchase:

1. Certification

It’s extremely important that your Carbon Monoxide alarm complies with British Standard EN 5021 and carries a British or European approval mark. You can check this online or at a hardware shop like B&Q. The British Standard also offers recommendations on the installation and maintenance of Carbon Monoxide alarms.

2. Battery or hard-wired?

There are different benefits to battery or hardwired Carbon Monoxide alarms. Battery powered alarms are available in tamper-proof form and have a sealed lithium battery that usually lasts for 7-10 years. This ensures it will work for the duration of its life and will continue to work even through power cuts. However, when looking for a battery-powered Carbon Monoxide detector, ensure you are familiar with its low battery warning signal e.g. a warning chirp or a visual display. Hard wired alarms are always tamper-proof but will need professional installation by an electrician, so this is worth considering if you are particularly nervous and would like the assurance that an electrician has installed the alarm for you. You should always test your alarm and keep them free from dust by gently vacuuming the case with a soft brush, as required.

3. Audible Alarm

Whilst there are ‘colour changing’ or ‘black spot’ tools available that detect Carbon Monoxide, we think it’s really important that you get an audible Carbon Monoxide alarm. This is a really clear indication that there is a problem. This is particularly important for whilst you are asleep. Carbon Monoxide poisoning can make you feel extremely tired and you will need an audible alarm to stir you from sleep. Carbon Monoxide can also spread extremely quickly and have negative effects on your body immediately, so you need to be notified immediately if there is a problem.

4. Digital Carbon Monoxide Display

If you are a vulnerable adult or are living with children, you may want to consider a Carbon Monoxide alarm with digital displays. They show the peak level of Carbon Monoxide detected over a 4-week product. It’s a quick visual indication that will indicate if Carbon Monoxide is present, even if concentrations are below the level that triggers the alarm. These alarms do cost more than the average but are definitely worth considering.

If you have any questions, would like to learn more, or are interested in having your appliances serviced or checked over, please do get in touch!

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