Home Features How to ensure residential properties are protected against CO | FireAngel

How to ensure residential properties are protected against CO | FireAngel

It’s estimated there are around 50 deaths due to accidental carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning throughout England and Wales each year. As the winter season quickly approaches and individuals increase their use of solid fuel burning appliances, Steve Boggis, Trade Business Unit Director for FireAngel, discusses how wholesalers can support electrical contractors in ensuring residential properties are adequately protected against CO.

Alarms provide the only method of detecting the presence of CO, due to the poisonous gas being tasteless, odourless and colourless. However, in 2018, the English Housing Survey evidenced only 42% of dwellings had a CO alarm, with owner-occupied and social rented homes more likely to have a CO alarm installed than private rental sector dwellings.

Due to the impact of COVID-19, the installation of a CO alarm throughout all types of residential properties is more important than ever, as many individuals delayed the annual servicing of their appliances, including boilers.

Here are the key considerations wholesalers should address when recommending CO alarms for installation throughout residential properties this winter season:


In accordance with European Standard EN 50292, CO alarms should be fitted in the same room as fuel-burning appliances, such as an open fire, gas cooker or boiler, and can be either wall or ceiling mounted.

It is advised that additional alarms should be located in bedrooms relatively close to the breathing zone of the occupants, whilst alarms should also be installed in any room where there is a flue running through it.

For ceiling mounted installations, the alarms should be at least 300mm away from any wall. For wall mounted alarms, they should be at least 150mm from the ceiling and above the height of any door or window.

For both types of installations, the alarms should be between one and three metres away from the potential source of CO, to ensure the highest standards of detection.

CO alarms should not be installed within enclosed spaces, directly above sinks or next to a source of ventilation, such as a door, window, extractor fan or air vent. It is also important to ensure the alarm is not installed in a location where the temperature may exceed 40°C or drop below -10°C.


 With the continued rise in ecommerce, some online resellers may be supplying devices that only display the CE mark. Wholesalers should communicate to installers the importance to ensure that CO alarms are approved to European standard EN 50291-1 and carry a third party approval mark, such as the BSI Kitemark to demonstrate independent testing and certification to the standard.


 CO regulations currently vary throughout the UK, with the main legislation applying to England and Wales included throughout the Smoke And Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 and Building Regulations Document J.

These regulations require CO alarms to be fitted when any new or replacement solid fuel burning appliance is installed, in addition to all rooms where there is a solid fuel burning appliance throughout private residential properties.

The alarm must be either mains-powered or battery powered, with the battery designed to operate for the working life of the alarm. Both power types should also feature a warning device to alert users when the working life of the alarm is due to pass, or in the event of a sensor failure warning.

However, the latest government consultation: Domestic Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms: Proposals to extend regulations, is calling for amendments to be made to the statutory guidance (Approved Document J), which supports Part J of the Building Regulations, requiring CO alarms to be fitted alongside the installation of fixed combustion appliances of any fuel type, excluding gas cookers.

It is also requesting the amendment of the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015, requiring private and social landlords to install a CO alarm in any room used as living accommodation where a fixed combustion appliance is used. It also proposes the requirement for landlords to ensure appropriate checks are made to ensure each prescribed alarm is in proper working order.

Interlinked technologies

 To achieve best practice installations, wholesalers should advise installers to fit CO alarms that meet current regulations. This includes FireAngel’s Specification Range FS1326-T Wireless Interlink Carbon Monoxide Alarm, which features a 10-year sealed for life lithium battery, combined with advanced electrochemical sensors and intelligence diagnostics.

Smart RF Ready for enhanced protection, the device can be wirelessly interlinked with additional FireAngel Smart RF enabled smoke and heat alarms to form a private network. This means when one alarm sounds, they all sound, providing the earliest possible warning of the presence of CO, in addition to fire.

To create a wireless interlinked network, installers simply fit a Smart RF Radio module into the alarm, either upon initial installation, or at a later date, and interlink multiple smoke, heat and CO alarms together onto a hybrid network.

The CO alarm is supplied with a 5 year warranty and is suitable for use in any room with a fuel burning appliance e.g living room, kitchen, bedrooms and garage. The alarm’s unique diagnostic capability also provides a report that details the time, date and level of CO within the property to provide the highest standards of protection and compliance.

FireAngel’s enhanced Specification Range, featuring Smart RF technology, has been designed to provide installers and their clients with a cost-effective, energy efficient solution that can be easily and instantly upgraded to ensure complete compliance and provide the highest standards in CO and fire safety. It is also proactively supporting wholesalers in educating customers on the benefits of interlinked systems, regardless of property type or size, through the supply of dedicated sales support and guidance. This includes bespoke point of sale and FSDUs, combined with specific sales and training collateral.

For more details on the specification range click here

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