CO Advice

What do professionals need to know about new changes to the EN 50291-1:2018 Standard?

Here, we outline the key changes to the European Standard for carbon monoxide in domestic buildings that professionals should be aware of.

As of 26th September 2021, the European Standard on carbon monoxide EN 50291-1:2010 has been withdrawn by BSI. A new version of the standard is EN 50291-1:2018*.

As part of the transition plan, manufacturers, distributors and retailers can continue to sell stock still carrying the BSI Kitemark based on the 2010 standard, if the alarms were produced before 26th September 2021.

However, carbon monoxide (CO) alarms produced after this date will need to be tested to the new EN 50291-1:2018 standard to achieve the BSI Kitemark.

2018 revisions to EN 50291-1 Standard

EN 50291-1 Standard

End of life indicator is now mandatory

All products complying to the new standard will carry an end of life indicator – already a standard feature on FireAngel CO alarms – and must include an audible and visual warning.

New requirements added for mains powered alarms with back-up supply

The back-up power source for mains powered CO alarms shall be monitored by the apparatus for faults, including low backup, open circuit and short circuit failure.

Increase in potential interference gases

The number of potential interference gases has been increased to create a better resistance to nuisance alarms and also ensures the sensor will recover from limited exposure to react to CO afterwards.

Standardised rules on alarm silence facility

Tests have been added for an optional alarm silence facility to increase user safety by not allowing the alarm to be silenced at concentrations of over 300ppm.

Clarification on audible and red visual signals

All alarms are supplied with a minimum of three LEDs and an informative annex to indicate visual warnings and identify audible low battery, fault and end of life alerts.

Robust radio link requirements

With a rapid increase in the use of RF (Radio Frequency) technology to interconnect with other alarms and connected home technology, it means the integrity of an RF system must be tested to ensure it is effective and robust. New requirements under the revised standards have been added for any apparatus using radio links.

Increased alarm sound output

In line with the EN 14604:2005+AC:2008 Standard, the sound output has been increased (@85 dB at 3m) for a louder alarm and improved user safety.

Informative annex for low CO levels

A new annex has been added for alarms displaying the warning for low CO levels, giving recommendations regarding how these displays might perform.

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*Note: the above summary is based on FireAngel’s interpretation of EN 50291-1:2018, always refer to the standard for specific guidance