Installer fitting Honeywell Home CO alarm

Staying alert to CO dangers in the home

Choosing the right CO detector for peace of mind

It is easy to become complacent when it comes to safety and security in the home.

But the truth is the dangers presented by carbon monoxide, fire and smoke are ever present.

As we head into Gas Safety Week this September, it is a reminder for homeowners to always use a Gas Safe Registered installer when any gas work is undertaken to ensure quality and safety. It is also an opportunity for installers to check that the right alerts are also in place for added peace of mind too.

The danger of carbon monoxide - often referred to as the silent killer - is a sober reminder that fixed combustion appliances such as space heaters, fireplaces, and water heaters, have the unwanted potential to undermine gas safety and cause carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning in the home.

To help mitigate this danger, the Government has reinforced its regulations to focus on extending existing private rented legislation to include socially rented properties, whilst at the same time improving the existing legislation to make all homes safer from fire, smoke, and carbon monoxide dangers.

As a result, carbon monoxide detector alarms are now mandatory in rooms with any fixed combustion appliance (excluding gas cookers) in both privately rented houses and social housing dwellings.

Choosing a CO detector

For carbon monoxide detection, solutions such as our Honeywell Home R200C-1 (stand-alone) or the R200C-N1 (interconnected) CO alarms, fitted alongside fuel-burning appliances, can significantly reduce risk to home dwellers.

Designed to be installed right first time and with minimal disruption to the property, both the R200C-1 and the R200C-N1 alarms have a low-power chip to ensure they last for 10 years in standby mode.

Fitted with a high-precision sensor, the CO alarm sends out a signal as soon as dangerous levels of CO are identified in the room.

In addition, red ‘ALARM’ text will flash up on the alarm when it sounds. This red alarm will also remain on until it is dealt with, so if it signals whilst the occupants are away from the property, when they return, they will be alerted to an incident immediately.

This function can also be especially applicable for elderly customers or people with hearing disabilities.

As CO has a slightly lower density than air, and therefore tends to accumulate near the ceiling, CO detection alarms should always be positioned on the ceiling, or at least five feet above the floor.

Smoke and fire alarms

Whilst improved safety standards have thankfully reduced incidents of domestic fires, nonetheless faulty wiring, unattended cooking, and smoking remain among the most common causes of distressing and, sometimes, fatal incidents.

Alongside CO detectors, smoke alarms should be an essential component of any household’s safety protection. Again, selecting an alarm solution from a trusted manufacturer can help with peace of mind for both the installer and client.

High performing and proven answers such as our Honeywell Home range of stand-alone (R200S-1) and interconnected (R200S-N1) smoke alarms provide daily assurance thanks to their ten-year warranty cover and automatic self-test function.

Whilst smoke alarms have been tried and tested for many years, they are not always suitable for every room in a property. Where dust collects easily, or where smoke is often present during cooking – such as kitchens – installing a smoke alarm may result in a false signal.

To counter this potential issue, a heat alarm can often provide a better solution to detect an abnormal increase in temperature associated with domestic fires, and with a reduced chance of giving a false signal.

Interconnected alarms

In Scotland, new legislation mandates that carbon monoxide alarms are installed in any room with fixed combustion appliances (excluding gas cookers), but every home must also have at least one smoke alarm in the most used room in the house, a smoke alarm in every hallway or landing and a heat alarm in the kitchen.

Importantly, these smoke and heat alarms should also be interconnected (or ‘interlinked’). This means that when one alarm goes off, they all go off, alerting people wherever they are in a house.

Products such as our Honeywell Home R200H-N1 is an interconnected heat alarm with an integrated thermal sensor and wireless interconnection with up to twelve devices.

For smaller dwellings, such as flats or bedsits, an all-in-one solution – such as the Honeywell Home R200ST-N1 interconnected combined heat and smoke alarm – could be more suitable as it will pre-warn of an increase in temperature before detecting smoke.

One fire, smoke or CO incident in the home is one too many. Taking protective steps such as relying on high performing fire and CO detection alarm solutions will go a long way to ensuring the home safety outcomes that everyone wants.


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