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Advanced Knowledge Centre

Do I need a carbon monoxide detector

Do I (or a landlord) need to install a carbon monoxide detector


This article answers the question ‘do I need a carbon monoxide detector’. Find out whether you (or your landlord) needs to install a carbon monoxide detector. In addition, discover what is carbon monoxide and why it’s known as the ‘silent killer’.

If you have gas appliances, then the short answer is Yes. We strongly recommend that you install a smoke alarm and a Carbon Monoxide (“CO”) detector in your home, for you and your family’s safety and anyone living in your property (landlords, take note).

Faulty gas appliances can produce carbon monoxide. Since carbon monoxide has no colour, smell or taste, it’s difficult to detect. But the effects of carbon monoxide are deadly.

The Law on Carbon Monoxide Detectors

  • If you’re renting a property without an audible Smoke or Carbon Monoxide Detector, you’re breaking the law and putting people’s lives at risk.
  • Working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms must be installed by the Landlord. It’s the law.

Since 1st October 2017, Government regulations mean it’s compulsory to install both smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms in rented residential accommodation. It applies to both flats and houses.

Failure to comply can lead to a civil penalty being imposed, of up to £5,000.

A smoke alarm must be installed at each storey or floor of the premises where there is a room, wholly or partly used as living accommodation.

A living room will include a lounge, dining room and kitchen as well as a bathroom or toilet. It also includes a hall or landing. This means that a smoke alarm must be provided in working order on each individual storey. 

Protection from CO – The Facts

  • Carbon monoxide detectors are similar in function to smoke alarms. Smoke alarms alert you when it detects smoke. Carbon monoxide detectors alert you when Carbon Monoxide (CO) is present.
  • The difference between Carbon Monoxide (CO) and smoke is that CO is invisible to the eye. In addition CO has no smell or taste. This means you can’t rely on your senses to its presence (until it’s too late)
  • Smoke alarms do not detect carbon monoxide – only a CO detector can
  • Gas appliances left unchecked could be dangerous and leak carbon monoxide 

Quality Design: Avoid Cheap Detectors – They May Not Work Properly

When you buy a carbon monoxide detector, look out for EN 50291 markings. Also make sure it has the British Standards’ Kite mark (or other European approval organisation’s mark on it). CO alarms usually have a battery life of up-to 5 years.

We cannot stress this enough – don’t buy poorly designed or cheap detectors, you cannot put a price on human life.

Where Can I Get a Carbon Monoxide Detector?

Most DIY or hardware stores sell them.

Alternatively, book us to attend your property (whether you’re a home owner or a landlord) and conduct a gas safety assessment of all your appliances, including your boiler.

As qualified and accredited Gas Safe technicians, we can also install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. 

Knowing the Symptoms of CO Poisoning – It Could Save Your Life:

The government offers excellent advice on CO poisoning. Be aware of these symptoms:

Also be aware of:

  • Symptoms that disappear or get better when you leave home and get worse when you return
  • Other people (even animals) experiencing similar symptoms, at the same time

Listen to Jade’s story about the dangers of an unchecked gas appliance.

Do I need a Carbon Monoxide Detector?

The answer to the question ‘do I need a carbon monoxide detector is an emphatic YES. Especially when you have gas appliances.

Contact us if you’re worried about carbon monoxide poisoning and need professional advice about your gas installations. Alternatively, if you’re not sure which Carbon Monoxide detector is best for your premises, then contact us.

Book your appointment by calling 0800 328 0449 or use our contact form today.

Disclaimer: The information contained on this website if for general information purposes only. You should not rely upon the material or information on the website as a basis for making any decisions or actions and we don’t accept liability for anything you chose to do with the information.