Even though new legislation covering carbon monoxide alarms in private rented properties only came into force on 1st October 2015, the CO Be Alarmed! campaign believes that the regulations do not go far enough. There appears to be a loophole in the law as there is no legal requirement to fit a CO alarm in rental properties that are equipped with gas appliances, the legislation only covers solid fuel appliances.
The campaign is now calling on the government to take action and extend the legislation to cover gas appliances in private rental sector properties. In our experience it is clear that there is still some confusion over the new regulations for carbon monoxide alarms.
Many alarms are still are not being fitted according to manufacturers guidelines and in some cases they aren’t even in the correct room. The fact that gas appliances were not specifically included in the legislation means that there are a lot of properties and tenants that are still at risk.
Carbon monoxide is produced when fuels such as gas, oil, charcoal, coal and wood do not burn completely. The most common cause of this is when an appliance, such as a boiler or cooker, is installed incorrectly or poorly maintained. Carbon monoxide can also build up when flues, chimneys or vents are blocked. As carbon monoxide has no smell, colour or taste, installing an audible alarm that sounds when the gas is present is the only way to ensure protection.
“Even at levels that don’t kill, carbon monoxide can cause lasting damage to your health. Around forty people die from carbon monoxide poisoning every year in England and Wales with thousands more requiring hospital treatment.” – campaign spokesperson
Carbon Monoxide – Be Alarmed! is the national campaign to reduce the number of deaths and injuries caused by carbon monoxide. The campaign is run by Energy UK on behalf of Britain’s major gas and electricity companies in partnership with the Dominic Rodgers Trust, and is supported by more than forty other organisations.