Fit an audible Carbon Monoxide alarm EN50291

Fitting a European standard approved electronic audible carbon monoxide alarm is a good second line of defence after having your appliances safety checked. In fact, if you cannot get a safety check booked in immediately, you should get an audible alarm now and fit it straight away. It will alert you if your appliance leaks Carbon Monoxide until it can be properly checked and certified by a professional.

Carbon Monoxide alarms need to meet European safety standard – EN50291 and must be electronic and audible. You usually fit them in the room that an appliance is installed but you should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions as if there is more than one appliance in a home a central location or near bedrooms may be best.

We do not recommend the use of a ‘Black Spot’ indicators as these are often inaccurate have a short life and will not alert or wake you if you are overcome by Carbon Monoxide fumes or asleep.

If you are concerned about the threat of Carbon Monoxide poisoning whilst on holiday in the UK or abroad, you may wish to take a battery-operated Carbon Monoxide alarm with you. Just take out the batteries whilst traveling. The same battery alarms can be used at home and on holiday.

Carbon Monoxide alarms cost as little as £15 and depending on additional features go upto around £30. CO alarms and can be bought from most good DIY stores, some supermarkets and in most cases direct from your energy supplier. If you are a tenant CO alarms may also available to you from your landlord, local council or from Help the Aged for the elderly .

When you buy a Carbon Monoxide alarm, make sure it meets current British and European safety standards. Look for alarms marked with the 'EN50291' standard, this may be written as BSEN 50291and with the 'CE' mark, both of which should be found on the packaging and product. Alarms will have either a Kitemark or LPCB logo to show independent testing and certification.

Remember that Carbon Monoxide alarms must never be used in place of annual safety checks. They are a second line of defence. There is no alternative to proper installation and maintenance of your appliances.

You should never ignore a CO alarm if it goes off and should call the relevant fuel provider for help and if anyone in the home is feeling unwell seek medical advice urgently. As with smoke alarms test regularly with the test button (follow manufacturer’s instructions) and replace batteries annually or when low battery signal sounds.

For more technical information and help for alarms and their use contact CoGDEM on free phone 0800 1694 457