CO Advice

4 steps to stay carbon monoxide safe

Make sure you’re protecting your family from ‘the silent killer’ with an audible carbon monoxide alarm in your home.

Carbon monoxide is a highly poisonous gas that cannot be seen, smelt or tasted.

Detecting the silent killer

carbon monoxide safety

The only way to detect carbon monoxide (CO) is with a CO alarm. But with an estimated two-thirds of homes unprotected by a carbon monoxide alarm, around 40 million people are at risk.

Often referred to as ‘the silent killer’, carbon monoxide is produced when fuel doesn’t burn properly, usually from badly fitted or poorly maintained appliances.

Common sources of CO are gas and oil boilers, gas hobs and fires, log burners and open fires. It’s important to be aware that CO can enter your home from a neighbour’s home, with incidences recorded where it has seeped through walls and killed people while they slept.

CO can also poison you slowly if you’re subjected to low levels over a period of time.

A cause for concern

carbon monoxide safety

Approximately 4,000 visits to A&E departments in England are for the treatment of carbon monoxide poisoning, with around 40 deaths reported in England and Wales each year. Symptoms such as nausea, drowsiness and headaches are often missed or mistaken for the common cold or flu.

In a 2021 study carried out by campaign group Project SHOUT, 39% of heating engineers surveyed revealed that they were seeing poorly maintained or badly fitted appliances every week. A further 31% said they saw appliances such as boilers, cookers and fires every month that they would class as dangerous.

With so many cases of unsafe appliances, homeowners could be in real danger of carbon monoxide poisoning.

What does a carbon monoxide detector do?

Carbon monoxide detectors alert you to the presence of the poisonous gas carbon monoxide (CO). CO is a colourless, odourless gas that cannot be detected by human senses. Installing sufficient audible CO detectors in your home ensures a rapid alert to the detection of CO providing you with vital time to seek fresh air.

4 steps to keeping safe from CO

Ensure your family are protected from carbon monoxide by following these four simple steps:

  1. Purchase a CO alarm and place it 1-3 metres away from any fuel burning appliances, as well as in highly populated areas such as bedrooms and living rooms.
  2. Look for CO alarms that comply with British Standard EN 50291 and carry a British or European approval mark, such as Kitemark, to have peace of mind that the alarm has been third-party tested.
  3. Get into a regular routine of testing your CO alarms to know if they are working, need replacing or new batteries fitted.
  4. Book annual servicing of your appliances by a GAS SAFE registered engineer.

NEW FireAngel CO alarms

Where should I put my carbon monoxide detector?

Alarms located in the same room as a fuel-burning appliance should be:

  • at a horizontal distance of between 1m – 3m from the potential source
  • located on the same side of a partition as the potential source
  • located at the high side of the room, if sloped ceilings are present

Keep safe from CO and be alerted at the first sign of danger with an audible CO alarm. Why not explore FireAngel’s new range of CO alarms for maximum protection for your family at home or when you travel?