Carbon Monoxide Alarms are back in the news, and rightly so. This is because the matter is being debated by Parliament and the Housing Minister has now agreed to look at extending the need for them in rented properties where there are gas appliances.
It follows a campaign by MP Eddie Hughes who is hoping to change the law with his Carbon Monoxide (Detection and Safety) Bill.
At the moment, the law is inconsistent as alarms are mandatory for solid fuel but not gas. This is something which needs clearing up as soon as possible because the fact is that any combustion appliance (stove/fire/boiler etc) is capable of producing Carbon Monoxide. Even those which have been properly installed can, over time, develop faults which cause the deadly gas to spill out and enter your home.
Anyone can see that the need to tighten up legislation is long overdue. Since 2015, it has been mandatory for landlords to install Carbon Monoxide Alarms in their properties where solid fuel is burned. The requirements are enforced by local authorities who can impose a fine of up to £5,000.
Moreover, Approved Document J of the Building Regulations also state that where a new or replacement fixed solid fuel appliance is installed in a dwelling, a carbon
monoxide alarm should be provided in the room where the appliance is located. That last part is important because I go to many properties where the alarms are fitted in the hallway, which does not comply with the regulations.
As a chimney sweep, I firmly believe that all homes where there are combustion appliances fitted should, by law, have Carbon Monoxide Alarms fitted. According to recent figures, around 50 people a year die a year from Carbon Monoxide poisoning, and over 4,000 are treated in hospital.
Carbon Monoxide is a deadly gas. It’s known as the Silent Killer. You can not see it, smell it or taste it. But it can kill you in a matter of minutes.
My advice is to get clued up about the dangers of Carbon Monoxide. Project Shout is a national campaign set up to highlight the dangers of Carbon Monoxide, and I am very pleased to support it. Its website is full of facts about the silent killer, including symptoms of Carbon Monoxide poisoning. Take time to read up about the dangers and spot the warning signs. You could be suffering CO poison now without even realising it.
And most importantly of all, please get a Carbon Monoxide Alarm – it could save your life.
Mr Soot Chimney Sweep offers a professional and friendly chimney sweep service in Wigan, Stockport, Southport, Ormskirk, Chorley and surrounding areas. Book Mr Soot online or call 0800 0541154.