CO Advice

One in 10 Scots over 50 don’t have working CO alarms

The research conducted by Age Scotland revealed some concerning results.

Despite the Scottish Government introducing new legislative changes in 2022 that required all properties to have interlinked smoke and heat alarms (including private and socially rented properties) supported by a carbon monoxide alarm, Age Scotland’s Taking the Temperature report discovered this is not the case.

The report, published in 2022, found 10% of Scottish people over 50 do not have a working carbon monoxide alarm installed despite 94% of those surveyed being aware that carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning can be deadly.

A further 25% of respondents had not yet been able to install interlinked fire and smoke alarms in their properties following the national deadline. Of those who did not have interlinked alarms installed in homes at the time of the survey, 41% had no intention to have them installed within the next six months.

Cost was cited as the primary reason (54%) for this decision, with 27% unaware of what support was available to them for this purpose. However, some care and repair services can fit interlinked fire and smoke alarms for free to older and disabled households on low incomes, such as Care and Repair Edinburgh, part of the Age Scotland family.

Protection from the silent killer 

Taking the Temperature report

Age Scotland’s report, conducted in partnership with SGN, captured the views and experiences of more than 1,000 over-50s in Scotland. The nationwide survey sought to understand more about their energy usage, experience of paying these bills, relationships with energy suppliers, awareness of energy efficiency support and issues surrounding energy safety, such as the recent requirement to install interlinked fire and smoke alarms.

Speaking on the survey results, Age Scotland’s interim chief Executive, Michelle Supple, said: “Good home safety standards are vital, and it’s concerning to hear that so many older people in Scotland do not have a carbon monoxide alarm in their home.

“If you have a carbon-fuelled device, ensuring you have an alarm installed is a simple but vital step to take to ensure you stay safe. Carbon monoxide is a dangerous silent killer, but these alarms save lives.

“Many older homeowners have also voiced concerns over the affordability and cost of interlinked fire and smoke alarms, as well as where to access support to install them.

“With 34% of our survey respondents also unaware of current requirements regarding interlinked fire and smoke alarms, it’s clear there is still a long way to go – both in terms of awareness and uptake – to ensure all households affected by the significant change are able to meet these requirements.”

What is carbon monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is a highly poisonous gas often referred to as a silent killer, and thousands of people are harmed by it every year. Homes with a carbon fuelled appliance, such as a gas boiler or coal fire, should have a CO detector installed. Age Scotland is urging older people who do not have a CO alarm installed but have a carbon fuelled or gas appliance in their home to get a detector as soon as possible and to test it regularly.

Enhanced CO protection with FireAngel

Designed for installers, FireAngel’s new carbon monoxide alarm range is compliant with the revised European Standard EN 50291‑1:2018. The range features intelligent sensing technology, enabling the alarm’s high sensitivity mode to be activated if it predicts CO levels will increase to or above 180ppm for a rapid reaction. All FireAngel CO alarms have been calibrated and rigorously tested in-house alongside third party testing to receive the BSI Kitemark certification.

FireAngel’s FA3328-EUT 10 year Sync-It™ (NFC Technology) carbon monoxide alarm not only provides a rapid response to rising CO levels in a property but also offers a low-cost information gathering source on environmental conditions. Using the FireAngel Installer app, Sync-It™ NFC technology provides quick, quiet and contactless data extraction by holding a mobile phone over a device to transfer and securely store logged property temperature and humidity recordings.

Find out more about FireAngel’s range of advanced CO alarms or read the Taking the Temperature report in full.