With heat rising across the country and more of us staying indoors longer this Christmas, there has never been a more important time to have a working carbon monoxide (CO) alarm in your home. House.
So we’ve put together our top five CO alarm tips and checks for this winter to help you feel safe and secure from the dangers of a CO buildup.
We also spoke to the Council for Gas Detection and Monitoring (COGDEM) to learn more about the importance of regularly testing your CO detectors.
Visit our CO Detector Reviews to find the best CO detector for your home.
Top 5 Carbon Monoxide (CO) Alarm Tips For Winter
1. Locate your CO alarms near potential sources of carbon monoxide.
The location of the CO detector is really important. You will need a CO alarm anywhere in your home where there is a potential source of CO and that means wherever that fuel will be burned.
So if you have a gas boiler in your kitchen and a log fire or wood stove in your living room, you will need two CO detectors.
Learn more about how to install and test carbon monoxide alarms.
2. Test your CO detectors weekly
Testing a CO detector is very simple – all you need to do is press the test button. If the alarm sounds, you know the product is working. Scroll down to learn more about CO alarm testing.
3. Write the end of life date on your alarm
CO detectors have a limited lifespan of between five and ten years. After this time, you will have to replace the alarm with a new one.
The lifespan of the alarm will be clearly visible on the box and in the instructions and the alarm will sound to let you know when its time is up.
But a useful reminder is to write the end of life date on the alarm itself, that way you can see when it is approaching the end of the road.
4. Replace the batteries every year
Alarms using replaceable batteries, rather than the sealed variety that will operate for the life of the alarm, will need to have their batteries replaced every 12 months.
And if you have a mains-powered CO detector, it will also come with a back-up battery – to intervene in the event of a power outage – and again, this battery will need to be replaced every year.
So, think of the annual battery replacement process as a technical check on your CO detector.
5. Take a CO alarm with you on vacation or when your kids go to college.
Holiday homes in the UK should be fitted with CO detectors, but to make sure you are safe why not pack a battery powered CO detector in your suitcase the next time you have the chance to check out. escape? And the same goes for students returning to college – having their own CO detector isn’t a bad thing.
Why regularly testing your carbon monoxide (CO) detector is so important
We spoke with Andy Curtis of the Council for Gas Detection and Monitoring (COGDEM) – the industry body for manufacturers of carbon monoxide alarms – about the importance of regularly testing CO alarms in your home.
Andy told us that testing alarms has to become second nature and that we should all test alarms in our homes every week. Andy told us, “Usually all you have to do to find out if your alarm will work when you need it is to press the test button. And all certified CO alarms perform regular self-tests, where they test their battery and circuits, including sensor. So, they are also designed to let you know when there is a problem.
He went on to say, “But be sure to follow the instructions in the manual, as alarm testing tips may differ slightly from manufacturer to manufacturer.”
Read about how we test CO detectors.
Dangerous CO alarms you should avoid
Last year we tested seven unbranded CO detectors that were purchased from online marketplaces. Each of the seven dangerously unreliable alarms failed to detect CO in our tests at least once and all of them are not to be bought.
So if your home alarm looks like one of the ones pictured above, you will need to replace it with an alarm you can rely on.
The good news is that there are 16 Best Buy CO detectors on our site that have detected the killer gas in each of the tests we perform.
Find the best CO detector for your home with our Best Buy CO Detector Reviews.