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Carbon monoxide alarms

Carbon Monoxide - Be Alarmed!

The Carbon Monoxide – Be Alarmed! campaign was launched in October 2008. It is the national campaign to reduce the number of deaths and injuries caused by Carbon Monoxide.

Carbon Monoxide – Be Alarmed! is funded and delivered by the Energy Retail Association on behalf of the Carbon Monoxide Consumer Awareness Alliance (COCAA) and supported by more than 40 other organisations.

Why do we need a campaign?

Too many people in the UK die or become seriously ill from Carbon Monoxide poisoning. These incidents could be prevented if there was greater awareness of the dangers of Carbon Monoxide and if everyone had fuel burning appliances serviced annually and fitted an audible Carbon Monoxide alarm in their home.

Research conducted for the campaign in September 2008 found that some 20 million households in the UK are putting themselves at risk because they don’t have an alarm or don’t have appliances serviced enough.

Key findings from the research:

- Some 20 million households or 47 million people don’t have an alarm or don’t have appliances serviced enough
- Nearly 1 person in 30 surveyed believed they had suffered from Carbon Monoxide poisoning
- Only 6% of people are very confident that they would recognise the symptoms of poisoning
- Young people and the elderly are particularly at risk


What needs to be done?

As well as raising awareness of the dangers of Carbon Monoxide and the precautions people should take, this campaign is seeking support for two legislative changes which will make a major difference.


- In order to receive a gas safety certificate, landlords should have to provide tenants with a Carbon Monoxide alarm.

This is a simple mechanism to ensure that many of the most vulnerable members of society are offered the protection of a Carbon Monoxide alarm. The existing legal requirement for a gas safety certificate means that an appropriately qualified and registered installer checks the safety of gas appliances. This would require an amendment to the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 so that, in order for a gas safety certificate to be issued, landlords are required to provide an audible Carbon Monoxide alarm.


- Every new home should be fitted with a wired-in Carbon Monoxide alarm.


To mirror the current requirement for a wired-in smoke alarm to be fitted in all new-build homes, Building Regulations should be amended to require an audible wired-in Carbon Monoxide alarm to be installed. This is a simple measure which will add no significant cost to homebuilders if the Carbon Monoxide alarm is installed at the same time as the smoke alarm.



For more information on the Carbon Monoxide Consumer Awareness Alliance (COCAA) please click here.



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