Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Carbon monoxide detectors can literally mean the difference between life and death – and as such, it’s vital that you understand your obligations when it comes to the installation and maintenance of detectors in your properties and premises.
The team at Simat have a detailed understanding of exactly what’s needed, whether you’re installing in domestic property, for health and safety reasons in commercial or industrial premises – or to fulfil your obligation as a landlord.
What is carbon monoxide?
Carbon monoxide is agas that naturally occurs and is present in very small amounts in the atmosphere. However, it’s also formed when common fuels like gas, oil, coal and wood are burned – and, the less efficiently these fuels burn, the greater amount of carbon monoxide is produced.
This means that many common appliances have the potential to produce carbon monoxide if they’re not working as efficiently as they should.
Although our bodies can cope with the very small, trace amounts of carbon monoxide in the atmosphere, greater amounts can cause illness, irreversible damage and even death. In fact, the NHS estimate that at least 25 deaths each year can be attributed to carbon monoxide poisoning – and every one of them could have been prevented with the right detectors in place.
Carbon monoxide and the law
As of the 1st October 2015, a £5,000 fine can be brought against people do not fit carbon monoxide alarms in properties that require them. Those properties include:
- Rented residential accommodation – in rooms that have a solid fuel appliance.
- Houses in multiple occupation – again, in rooms that have solid fuel appliances.
A solid fuel appliance is defined as one which burns, or is capable or burning, solid fuel – this would include log and coal fires, stoves and open fires – even if they’re not normally in use. The law doesn’t stipulate that carbon monoxide detectors need to be fitted near to boilers – however, we recommend that they are and it’s widely acknowledged as best practice to do so.
Where should alarms be placed?
There’s no legally binding expectation around where carbon monoxide alarms are place, however, to ensure their effectiveness, they should be installed at head height and between 1-3 meters away from the potential source of carbon monoxide.
Checking current alarms
Carbon monoxide alarms can’t just be installed and forgotten about, they need to be checked frequently. For landlords, that means a check at the point a new tenancy is begun – and formal periodic checks (ideally every 6 months) after that.
It’s good practice to make checking carbon monoxide alarms part of your tenancy agreement too – government guidance suggests a monthly check by tenants.
Carbon monoxide alarms in private and commercial properties
While the law primarily focuses on landlord’s obligations to protect their tenants with the use of carbon monoxide detectors, it’s widely accepted as best practice to fit carbon monoxide detectors wherever there is a solid fuel or gas burning appliance – including in private dwellings and commercial properties.
Carbon monoxide detectors are not costly – so at Simat, we believe it’s sensible to take a ‘better safe than sorry’ approach to installation.
If you require carbon monoxide detectors in your home, rental property or commercial premises, Simat can help. We can provide a range of solutions that will keep you, your tenants and your employees safe.
To speak to us in a little more detail about your requirements, you can call us on 01204 400 696 or email us at email@example.com.