Consumer Advice

Guide to buying a carbon monoxide alarm

Guide to buying a carbon monoxide alarm


Carbon monoxide detectors are inexpensive, valuable safety additions to your home. Highly portable, easy to fit and widely available, they will help to safeguard your family against the threat of carbon monoxide poisoning.


You can find carbon monoxide detectors in most DIY stores, home improvement stores and some larger supermarkets. Alternatively, your energy supplier may provide them, or contact Home Appliance Care for the latest availability and offers.


Remember that a carbon monoxide detector is simply designed to detect CO – not smoke – so you will still need to have a standard smoke alarm fitted too; both upstairs and downstairs.


Good brands for carbon monoxide alarms include Ei Electronics, FireAngel, Kidde and Honeywell.


Look for a model which features an audible alarm, rather than just a colour change symbol. Night time is the most common period for carbon monoxide incidents, so you will need the sound alert. Check that your model has a British Standard EN 50291 mark, which is also shown as BSEN 50291, or presented alongside the CE mark. Other equivalent approvals include the LPCB mark or the European / British quality Kitemark. This demonstrates the quality and compliance of the alarm’s manufacture.


To install your alarm, simply follow the instructions. Ideally you will place it in an open and central location such as a landing or hallway, and either place it on a bookshelf or table, or fix it to the wall. Make sure that it is one metre or more away from heaters, fires, cookers or boilers – but ideally locate it in the same room as your gas appliance. Test it regularly and replace batteries as soon as the low signal sounds.