Home Advice and Energy Efficiency

Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detector

Not all SIC properties require a Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detector to be installed.

If you have a carbon-fuelled appliance – like a  boiler, fire, heater or flue – in any room, you must also have a carbon monoxide detector in that room

Gas appliance – all tenants who has a gas appliance must ask for permission for this.  

What is Carbon Monoxide

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a poisonous gas. It is invisible and has no smell or colour. It is sometimes called the “Silent Killer” and even small amounts can be dangerous.

What does the CO detector do?

  • Your CO detector is designed to detect a build-up of CO in your home. It does not detect heat or flames.
  • The detector continuously monitors the air in your home. When it senses a hazardous build-up of CO, it sounds an alarm.
  • Your CO detector can provide time for you and members of your family to get out of your home before the effects of the gas can have any lasting effects.
  • Your CO detector can save your life.

How do I know if the detector is working?

  • Your CO detector has been designed to be as maintenance free as possible. To keep your detector in good working order, you must:
  • Test your detector weekly. Do this by pushing, holding and releasing the TEST/RESET button at the front top of the unit. The detector will beep and a red light will flash.
  • Vacuum the air vents at the front of the detector occasionally to keep them free of dust.

Who maintains my CO detector?

The Council will repair your detector if it is found to be faulty. If you think your carbon monoxide detector is not working properly contact the Repairs Service on 01595 74 4399

What should I do if my carbon monoxide alarm goes off?

If harmful levels of carbon monoxide are detected your detector will sound a continuous alarm.

  • Do not panic. Stay calm. Your safety and that of your family may depend on clear thinking and remembering what you have practised.
  • Open doors and windows to ventilate your home.
  • Turn off fuel-burning appliances such as fires and boilers and turn off your gas supply at the mains.
  • Open doors and windows and leave the property.
  • Do not go into the property until the alarm has stopped.
  • Get medical help immediately for anyone suffering the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Contact the Fire Service on 999.

How else can I protect my family?

  • Ensure your home is well ventilated.
  • Ensure all chimneys and flues are clean and in good working order.
  • Ensure all cookers, heaters and boilers are well maintained, well ventilated and are not confined in enclosed spaces.
  • Explain to your family, especially children, what the CO detector alarm signal means.
  • Decide on a meeting place outside your home where your family should meet if your alarm sounds and ensure that your children know they should go there and wait for you.
  • Hold a drill at least every 6 months to make sure that your families, especially children, know how to get out of your home safely.
  • Know where to go to call the emergency services outside your home.

What are the signs of CO poisoning?

  • Mild exposure – slight headache, nausea, and flu-like symptoms.
  • Medium exposure – Severe throbbing headache, drowsiness, fast heart rate, vomiting.
  • Extreme exposure – Unconsciousness, convulsions, heart and breathing failure, death.