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New building regulation is coming in to place that requires - for the first time in the UK - a carbon monoxide alarm in the same room as a new or replacement fixed solid fuel heating appliance. This is another step towards protecting against the dangers of Carbon Monoxide (CO) and will increase pressure for the installation of a CO alarm in every home.
Carbon Monoxide is a deadly gas produced by poorly installed or faulty appliances. It has no colour, taste or smell and is often referred to as the silent killer - as it is undetectable without using a carbon monoxide alarm.
Carbon Monoxide poisoning can be fatal and those in rented accommodation are often at the greatest risk. According to CO-Awareness ( www.covictim.org ) there are at least 50 deaths recorded each year as a result of carbon monoxide, yet fewer than three in ten people have a carbon monoxide detector fitted in their home.
Installing a carbon monoxide alarm is usually straightforward and it will help to keep you and your family safe. The Government's Health and Safety Executive ( www.hse.gov.uk ) strongly recommends the installation of audible carbon monoxide alarms as a back-up precaution, but stresses that they are not a substitute for the proper installation and maintenance of gas appliances by a Gas Safe Registered engineer.
In new homes it is becoming more common for CO alarms to be hard-wired in rooms housing solid fuel burning appliances, but there are many other solutions on the market. These are often easier to fit retrospectively in existing homes and rented accommodation.
When purchasing a carbon monoxide alarm the Health and Safety Executive recommends you check that the alarm complies with British Standard EN 50291 and carries a British or European approval mark, such as a Kitemark.
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