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Christmas warning over carbon monoxide in private rental properties

A health and safety product manufacturer is issuing a warning about the dangers of carbon monoxide alarms, citing figures that up to 80 per cent don’t reach British safety standards.


Carbon monoxide (CO) is known as the ‘silent killer’ and in sufficient quantities can kill a household, with pets and children succumbing first.



Jonathan Senior of VeriSmart Inventories claims more than half of alarms posed an officially-designated ‘high’ or ‘serious’ risk, and with more households enjoying open fires and naked flames over the festive period, the dangers are greater than usual, he claims.

“One report co-funded by the European Union and the Product Safety Forum of Europe found that 52 per cent of the carbon monoxide alarms tested posed a ‘high’ or ‘serious’ risk” says Senior.

“One reason is that the sensor is disabled if it is exposed to temperatures below freezing, and when they are shipped from the Far East they can experience temperatures that low.

A Trading Standards survey last year found that up to 80 per cent of CO alarms didn’t meet British standards [although] some of these were Kitemarked” he adds.

The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations mean there is a requirement for smoke alarms to be fitted on every floor of every rented property. CO alarms are legally required in every room that is a living space where there is a solid fuel burning appliance.

  • john stones

    The ONLY way to ensure that CO alarms are fully working is to sensor inclusively test on installation and at least annually thereafter. ALL CO alarms share the same sensor technology and the test button only tests the electronic circuit. The Smoke & Carbon Monoxide (England) Regs 2015 require that all private landlords fit and test CO alarms into properties with solid fuel burning appliances AND evidence that they have done so to the authorities or face fines and jail. The law also requires mirroring amendments to the Housing Act 2004 so Social Landlords are eligible too together with other obligations such as the Framework. Further, if you have had your organisation's name printed on the alarm, something kindly offered FOC by most CO alarm manufacturers, you are liable for the performance of the alarm under the Consumer Products Safety and Use Act 1984. Lawyers and Unions are actively seeking CO poisoning victims for "no win, no fee" cases. In one case £532K has been awarded. Many major Housing Associations are now testing their alarms with Detectagas with shocking results. If the alarm is in warrantee and most are, send them back for a refund or replacement. First job...TEST.


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