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Carbon Monoxide Detectors - Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is an Odourless, Colourless, Tasteless & Lethal gas. Carbon Monoxide is produced by incomplete combustion of a gas or fossil fuel due to an insufficient amount of oxygen being present.

How Can I Detect Carbon Monoxide?

The symptoms of Carbon Monoxide can often be misdiagnosed by doctors, so hoping that you will spot the symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning is not the best option, and as Carbon Monoxide is odourless, colourless and tasteless is not possible for humans to detect.

The only way to detect a Carbon Monoxide leak, is to install an Carbon Monoxide Detector near any potential source. An audible alarm is best, as it will sound when a set level of Carbon Monoxide has been detected, giving you a warning which could save your life.

Do you sell any Carbon Monoxide Detectors suitable for use in a caravan or motor home?

Some of our detectors are NCC (National Caravan Council) approved, and these are the ideal units for a caravan & motor homes.

The following units are NCC Approved:

FireAngel CO-808S

FireAngel CO-9X

FireAngel CO-9D

What are the symptoms of Carbon Monoxide poisoning?

Carbon Monoxide poisoning can often be confused with those of a cold or flu, but unlike these carbon monoxide poisoning does not cause a high temperature.

The symptoms of mild CO poisoning to look out for are: Headaches, nausea, abdominal pain, dizziness, sore throat and a dry cough.

More severe poisoning can also have the following effects: A fast and irregular heart rate, confusion, hyperventilation, drowsiness, difficulty breathing, seizures and loss of conciousness.

How can I prevent a Carbon Monoxide Leak?

As per the instruction manuals of your fuel burning appliance(s), you should have them checked by a qualified engineer on a regular basis (service intervals should be as per instruction manuals). Appliances deteriorate with time, and a small whole in a seal can be the cause of a carbon monoxide leak. A routine inspection, by a qualified engineer, should highlight and fix any wear, hopefully preventing any leaks.

Can I replace the batteries when the unit is near the end of its lifespan?

Carbon Monoxide detector sensors have a life span, which will be noted in the manufacturers instruction manual. After this time the sensors will no longer detect carbon monoxide, so a new unit will be required. Changing the batteries will not make the detector work after the sensor has completed its life span.

How is Carbon Monoxide Measured:

Carbon Monoxide is measured in PPM (Points per Million) Below are the levels and the health issues they cause:

Less Than 35 PPM– No effect to healthy adults.

100 PPM– Slight headache, fatigue, shortness of breath, errors of judgement

200 PPM– Headache, fatigue, nausea, dizziness.

400 PPM- Severe headache, fatigue, nausea, dizziness, confusion, can be life-threatening after 3 hours of exposure.

800 PPM- Headache, confusion, collapse, death if exposure is prolonged.

1500 PPM- Headache, dizziness, nausea, convulsions, collapse, death within 1 hour.

3000 PPM– Death within 30 minutes.

6000 PPM– Death within 10 – 15 minutes.

12,000 PPM– Nearly instant death.

What should I do if my Carbon Monoxide alarm sounds?

Many people have a CO alarm installed in their home. But are unsure of what to do when their alarm goes off.

It is recommended by all leading manufacturers, that you follow the below steps:

• Immediately open doors & windows to ventilate the area.

• Turn off appliances, or other sources of combustion where possible.

• Avoid use of any naked flames or electrical switches.

• Evacuate the property and do not re-enter.

• Contact the Gas emergency Service – 0800 111 999.

• Get medical help immediately for anyone suffering from headaches or nausea.

Calling the Gas Emergency Services Line -

It doesn't matter what time of day or night you ring the Gas Emergency Service - They have trained operators working round-the-clock waiting to take your call.

You'll be asked a series of questions designed to help build a picture of the reported gas escape or gas emergency. Getting accurate address details is very important to make sure they send engineers to exactly the right place. Your address and postcode are particularly important.

National Grid aims to attend all uncontrolled escapes within one hour, and all controlled escapes within two hours.

If your alarm does go of in the future, make sure you follow these steps as recommended by the leading manufacturers of CO alarms.

For more information visit the National Grid: Emergency Information Page

Click here to go to the Carbon Monoxide Detectors Page