CO alarms

Why should I get a carbon monoxide alarm?

Carbon monoxide alarm

Because carbon monoxide has no taste, smell or colour, Gas Safe Register strongly recommends you fit an audible carbon monoxide alarm in your home.

While an alarm will alert you to carbon monoxide in your home, it is no substitute for using a Gas Safe registered engineer to ensure that your appliances are regularly serviced and maintained.

A carbon monoxide alarm looks similar to a smoke alarm and is very easy to fit by following the manufacturer's instructions. You can purchase a carbon monoxide alarm for around £15 to £20 at your local DIY store, supermarket or from your energy supplier.

Before purchasing a carbon monoxide alarm, always make sure it is officially approved to BS:EN50291:2001 or BS:EN50291:2010. It must have a British or European approval mark on it, such as a Kitemark.

You are particularly at risk from carbon monoxide poisoning while sleeping, as you may not be aware of early carbon monoxide symptoms until it's too late. Do not use the 'black spot' detectors that change colour when carbon monoxide is present. These will not make a sound to wake you up if the poisonous gas is present while you are sleeping.

Fit an alarm in each room with a gas appliance. Always follow the alarm manufacturer's instructions on siting, testing and replacing the alarm.

CO Detector from Fireangel

Where can I get an alarm?

For this programme we are pleased to be working with our suppliers Sprue Safety Products and using the FireAngel CO9X carbon monoxide alarm. More details of this product and how CO alarms work can be found at http://www.fireangel.co.uk/Your-CO-Safety.aspx.

However, there are a variety of audible CO alarms available that meet the standard, usually retailing for around £15-£20 and they can be found at DIY stores, supermarkets and online retailers. It is also worth checking with your energy supplier who from time to time may have offers. Check our links page for links to carbon monoxide initiatives supported by various energy suppliers.

Please note: RoSPA does not endorse or promote particular brands or suppliers. Our key message is that only audible CO alarms officially approved to BS:EN50291:2001 or BS:EN50291:2010 should be used.