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Carbon Monoxide – A strong warning to consumers

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Trading Standards has issued a strong warning to consumers who they feel are taking the dangers of Carbon Monoxide poisoning for granted.

Independent tests on CO alarms found that 8 out of 10 failed British Standard tests. This comes in the wake of new Smoke and Carbon Monoxide legislation, which came into force on the 1st October, demanding that all private sector landlords regularly test smoke and CO alarms in all rented properties.

The legislation is expected to prevent up to 26 deaths and 670 injuries a year but trading standards is still advising consumers that they must check their appliances are in proper order and make sure CO alarms are working in order to detect deadly CO.

Managing director of Gas Safe Europe, John Stones, said:

Carbon Monoxide is a silent killer and yet one that is easy to protect against. Consumers should fit alarms and regularly test them to ensure they’re in working order and fit for purpose.”

“To effectively test CO alarms and ensure landlords meet the new legislation by having working alarms, they need to test the sensor and not rely on the so called Test Button which just tests the battery, buzzer and electronic circuit. This can only be done by injecting a specific and safe level of test gas over the alarm.”


With the alarming statistic that 8 out of 10 Carbon monoxide detectors that were independently tested actually failed, there is now concern that the sensors inside the alarms have to limited a lifespan, with up to 45% of CO alarms tested less than a few years old.

Do your bit

With consumers and landlords probably not having the expertise to choose the right type of detector or know where the right area to fit a carbon monoxide detector, it could be a good idea to give advice and also stock up on reliable detectors.

  • Remember, consumers have said that they would be inclined to purchase a carbon monoxide alarm from a trained Gas engineer.
  • Remind your customers to get their annual appliance checks done and that if they suspect a gas appliance is faulty, not to wait until their next check is due. If an appliance is showing signs of being faulty they should be getting in touch with you asap.

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