Carbon Monoxide Alarm
Every home with at least one fuel-burning appliance or heater, attached garage or fireplace should have a carbon monoxide alarm. Carbon monoxide is produced by devices that burn fuels. Therefore, any fuel-burning appliance in your home is a potential CO source. Electrical heaters and electric water heaters, toasters, etc., do not produce CO under any circumstances. An alarm should be installed on every level of the home and in sleeping areas. Carbon Monoxide Alarm monitors the presence of deadly CO in the home, providing a constant protection against the effects of this deadly gas.
Carbon monoxide or CO is a colourless, odourless, tasteless, poisonous gas produced by incomplete burning of carbon-based fuels, like gas, coal, wood and oil. Carbon based fuels are usually safe to use, however, when the fuel does not burn completely, the excess CO is highly poisonous and can incapacitate or even kill within a short time. When CO enters your body, it prevents the blood from bringing oxygen to cells, tissues, the brain and organs. You cannot see, taste or smell CO but it can kill quickly with little warning. This kind of death normally happen when the person is sleeping or during the night. This is why every gas, oil and solid fuel appliances and flues must be properly installed by qualified engineers. Lower quantity of CO levels that do not kill immediately can cause serious harm to health if breathed in over a long period. In extreme cases paralysis and brain damage can be caused as a result of prolonged exposure to CO.
This is why having carbon monoxide alarms installed throughout a property is so important. Beside that, it is a legal requirement that every landlord must carry out a check to ensure that smoke or carbon monoxide alarms are installed to comply with the Regulations. The alarms need to be checked that they are in proper working order on the day a tenancy begins where it is a new tenancy. A new tenancy is a tenancy granted on or after 1st October 2015.
What are the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning?
Early symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can be confused with many common ailments or food poisoning, viral infections, flu or simple tiredness. The list below are the symptoms to look out for:
- Severe throbbing headaches
- Shortness of breath
- Nausea and dizziness
- Stomach pains
- Pains in the chest
- Erratic behaviour
- Blurred vision
- Loss of consciousness
- Fast heart rate
What to look for in Carbon Monoxide alarm.
It is important to ensure that the CO alarm complies with British Standard EN 50291 and carries a British or European approval mark, such as a Kitemark. These standards show that the alarms have been extensively tested to ensure their quality including sensor reaction times, minimum alarm sound levels and temperature resistance. Currently most CO alarms last between 5 and 7 years. CO alarms should be installed, checked and serviced in line with the manufacturer’s instructions.