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CO Alarms Pose Serious Risks

August 24, 2017 featured image

A report co-funded by the European Union and the Product Safety Forum of Europe (PROSAFE) reveals that over 50% of carbon monoxide alarms tested are posed a ‘high’ or ‘serious risk’.

The Findings

Nonprofit professional organisation for market surveillance authorities and with officers from throughout the EEA PROSAFE has published the findings of their report which looked at the effectiveness of CO alarms across Europe.

In total, 7 EU member states had their alarms tested with the main focus of making sure that CO detectors on the market were safe and carried the appropriate warnings and instructions to consumers.

The results are shocking.

The Results

In total more than 81 models were inspected. 25 were tested in a laboratory and here are the results:

  • 3 models were ok
  • 4 models alarmed early
  • 18 models were non compliant with the relevant requirements.

As a result, PROSAFE then undertook a risk assessment based on the risks posed by the product’s incorrect performance. Here are the shocking results:

  • 9 detectors give a ‘Serious’ risk
  • 15 models give a  ‘High’ risk
  • 2 models give a ‘Medium’ risk
  • 12 models give a ‘Low’ risk.
  • 7 models had no risks detected
  • 36 models did not have risk assessment as they considered the model compliant.

These reports are the most recent to highlight the serious issues. With over 30 million alarms in the UK, the UK government passed legislation last year requiring private sector landlords to test their smoke and CO alarms annually and before each new tenancy.

Trading Standards is also advising consumers to check their appliances.

These results prove that there is a serious issue with the quality of CO alarms and more should be done to raise awareness. Continue reading to find out how to test CO alarms.

Testing CO Alarms

When testing CO alarms it’s important that the sensor is tested. By relying only on the ‘Test Button’ you will only be testing the battery, buzzer and electronic circuit.The sensor can be tested by injecting a specific and safe level of test gas over the alarm.

GasSafe Europe has developed Detectagas® to help protect consumers and help landlords meet their obligations. The kit works by checking both the battery and sensor and is now widely available.

If an alarm is faulty landlords are expected to label it with the available tamper proof sticker as well as notify the residents so it can be replaced. However, if the alarm is still under warrantee then it must be returned to the manufacturer for either a replacement or refund.

By following the advice above this should ensure that alarms installed are effective and working properly to protect tenants, residents or anyone working in environments where there is a potential risk of CO poisoning.

For more information on this check out our blog post on Safe Carbon Monoxide Alarms

If you have any questions about this give Gas Safe Register a call on 0800 408 5500

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