What is carbon monoxide?

Carbon Monoxide is a killer, a poisonous gas you cannot smell, see or taste. It can come from any fuel burning appliance. Not just gas boilers. Carbon monoxide is the same weight as air so it will not sink or rise in a room – it will mix all around all of the room.

Why is Carbon monoxide so Dangerous?

If you breathe CO your muscles and brain do not get the oxygen you need. This means they are damaged, you may not see this damage straight away, medical research has shown that low level exposure to CO will cause long term brain damage.

562 people have died since 1995.

At least 4000 people a year have low level CO poisoning.

Where does CO come from?

Gas/coal fires and wood burners burn fuel and air; the exhaust should exit the property & go up the chimney. But if the chimney is slightly blocked or a draught comes back down the chimney, Co can be given off into the room.

Oil Boilers, Agas & Rayburn’s even if set up and serviced correctly will still give off CO in the exhaust gases-which can leak into the house.

What are the signs of CO poisoning?

A headache is the most common symptom of carbon monoxide poisoning. Other common symptoms include: dizziness and nausea, vomiting, tiredness and confusion stomach pain, shortness of breath and difficulty breathing. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can be similar to those of food poisoning and flu. However, unlike flu, carbon monoxide poisoning does not cause a high temperature). Your symptoms may be less severe when you are away from the source of the carbon monoxide. The longer you inhale CO gas, the worse your symptoms will be. You may lose balance, vision and memory. Eventually, you may lose consciousness. This can happen within two hours if there is a lot of CO gas in the air.

How do I protect against Carbon monoxide?

The only way to protect against Carbon monoxide is to fit CO alarm and have your appliance swept/serviced regularly.

Who Says I should fit CO alarms?

Building Regulations (Document J) ‘Where a new or replacement fixed solid fuel appliance is installed in a dwelling, a Carbon Monoxide Alarm should be provided in the room where the appliance is located’

HETAS ‘Fit an audible Co alarm confirming to BS EN 50291 and positioned in accordance with Building Regulations (Document J)

OFTEC ‘Sensible precautions include. The installation of an n audible CO alarm manufactured to BS EN 50291’

HSE ‘Strongly recommends the use of audible Carbon Monoxide alarms as a useful back up precaution ‘

Where should I fit CO Alarms?

In rooms that have a fuel burning appliance, where people spend most of their time and might not hear an alarm. Where people sleep at night. It is best to fit more than 1 alarm, top priority should be in rooms that have a flue less or open-fled appliance, second priority should be where people spend the most time (living room or bedroom)

How do I look after a CO alarm?

You should test you alarm, using its test button regularly; you should also clean to ensure all gas entry holes are clear. CO alarms have a limited life and must be replaced before it expires. Some alarms will have an audible function that will alert you to its end of life.

Reasons why ProSweep recommend the  XC70 Carbon Monoxide alarm from Honeywell

Honeywell XC70  have a “ventilate” function which can be manually activated to provide an early warning of the build up of CO prior to the levels required to activate the full alarm signal .

Honeywell XC70 have a low volume test mode – the buzzer volume when pressing the test button is reduced. The full volume occurs when the unit actually detects CO.

Honeywell XC70  can be upgraded to enable wireless connection to each other or alarm systems.

– Ultra compact & aesthetic design.

– Fully Comprehensive 7 year guarantee on XC70.

– Completely sealed and tamperproof so internal parts & batteries cannot be accessed or removed. No parts to change / no running costs for the whole life of the unit.

– Very easy to install and use (unit can be free standing or fixed to the wall (can also be locked to the wall if required) with batteries pre-fitted.

– Approved & Kitemarked to EN50291:2010 (-1&-2) – The European Standard for domestic CO alarms.

The XC70 is an easy to use and reliable self-contained Carbon Monoxide Alarm. Designed for use in all domestic environments such as homes, caravans and boats.

The carbon monoxide alarm should be located in the same room as the appliance:A. On the ceiling at least 300mm from any wall or, if it is located on a wall, as high up as possible (above any door or windows) but not within 150mm of the ceiling; andB. Between 1m and 3m horizontally from the appliance.