Detection of Carbon Monoxide

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There must be installed a CO alarm which meets the requirements of BS EN 50291:2001 in the same room as any gas appliance.  Alarms should be powered by a battery designed to operate for the working life of the alarm.  Such alarms should incorporate a warning device to alert users when the working life is due to pass.  This type of alarm is easier to change when the working life has expired as it does not require a specialist electrician. 

4.5.8   HSE has undertaken research into the long term reliability and use of carbon monoxide alarms, available via the link that follows:

4.5.9   This research indicated that the sensors within CO alarms which detect carbon monoxide have a lifetime of between 5 - 7 years.  This may mean that a resident has a CO alarm in place, but it is beyond its lifetime and therefore may not be providing the level of protection that the resident may think they have. 

4.5.10             The research report also found that on occasion carbon monoxide alarms, although fitted in the same room as a gas appliance, were not fitted in the correct location to detect carbon monoxide.  Guidance on the installation of carbon monoxide alarms is available in BS EN 50292:2002 and in the manufacturers’ instructions.

4.5.11             The CO alarm must therefore be fitted in the correct location and not have passed, or be shortly about to pass, beyond its lifetime. Where the CO alarm is likely to pass beyond its lifetime during the licence period, it is strongly suggested that authorities consider including a licence condition to the effect that the alarm must be replaced within a specified timescale.

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