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Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Carbon monoxide is a poisonous and flammable gas that’s colourless and odourless. It’s produced by faulty gas appliances, and potentially fatal in even quite low concentrations in the air. According to the NHS, there are around 60 deaths per year in England and Wales as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning. 

That’s why carbon monoxide detectors are essential fire safety equipment for every home, office or workplace with a gas appliance – they also happen to be a legal requirement for landlords and commercial building owners. Browse our selection of high-quality carbon monoxide detectors that are reliable and easy to use.

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How do carbon monoxide detectors work?

CO or carbon monoxide detectors are refined pieces of safety equipment. They use electrochemical sensors which rely on electrodes immersed in a chemical solution that’s sensitive to carbon monoxide. When the electric currents of the chemical solution change as a result of exposure to carbon monoxide, the electrodes detect this and trigger the alarm.

Read our complete guide to carbon monoxide detectors to learn more.

What should you do if a carbon monoxide detector goes off?

Carbon monoxide is colourless and odourless. You won’t be able to detect it without a carbon monoxide detector. So if your detector goes off, trust it and swiftly take action. 

Carbon monoxide detectors, like smoke alarms, emit a loud warning signal once triggered. When you hear this alarm, immediately open all windows and doors to ventilate the area, turn off all gas supplies, and evacuate the area. Once a safe distance away, contact an emergency gas engineer. (Note: if your carbon monoxide detector is emitting intermittent beeps, it means the battery needs to be replaced.) 

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning

Common symptoms of CO poisoning are flu-like and include headaches, dizziness, exhaustion, nausea, chest pain and disorientation. Carbon monoxide is fatal, even in low concentrations in the air. 

Where to place a carbon monoxide detector

Carbon monoxide is lighter than air and so rises. Carbon monoxide detectors should therefore be placed at head height on a wall. In a room with a boiler, place the detector at the same height as the boiler, but 1 to 3 metres away from it. Avoid placing the detector directly over a fireplace, stove or fire-producing appliance. Ideally, carbon monoxide detectors should be placed on every floor of a home. Make sure children can’t reach or tamper with the detector. 

There are portable carbon monoxide detectors which can be fixed to surfaces or left free-standing. They’re a popular choice for homes, caravans and boats. The Kidde Mains Carbon Monoxide Alarm is one we highly recommend – it has a digital display and a peak level memory for when you’re away from home. 

Types of carbon monoxide detectors

We carry battery-powered and mains-powered carbon monoxide detectors. For the former, you can opt for models which run on standard AA batteries (they come with a ‘low battery’ indicator) or Lithium-ion batteries which last for 7-years. 

Our Kidde premium carbon monoxide detector and mains carbon monoxide detector both come with digital displays that are easy to read and provide constant information on CO levels.

All our carbon monoxide detectors are British Kitemarked and compliant with BS EN50291. 

Carbon monoxide detectors - legal requirements

In England and Wales, all rented accommodation and holiday homes that are rented out must have a carbon monoxide detector in any room with a carbon-fuelled appliance (such as a boiler, fire, stove or heater). 

In Scotland, carbon monoxide detectors with a sealed lithium battery are compulsory in every room with a carbon-fuelled appliance or a flue. 

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