Carbon monoxide alarm warning to householdsEight in ten homes don't have audible CO alarm

19 January 2010

A new study has revealed that 81% of households don't have an audible carbon monoxide (CO) alarm in their home, putting them at risk of death or serious injury.

The survey of 1,915 adults coincided with the launch of a carbon monoxide awareness campaign to highlight the dangers of CO emitted by faulty or poorly maintained boilers, cookers and other fuel burning appliances.

Around 30 people die of carbon monoxide poisoning each year, according to the campaign - though a separate safety campaign in November suggested this number could be at least 50.

Don't miss our carbon monoxide detector reviews, where we reveal which models passed Which? safety tests.

Carbon monoxide risks

Of those who didn't have an audible CO alarm - a device that sounds an alarm rather just than a 'colour change' indicator tool - 13% believe CO poisoning is rare and do not consider the gas to be a significant health risk. 18% of those questioned did not know that CO has no smell and 9% did not know it was invisible to the naked eye.

More than 10% did not know an alarm was available to detect the gas.

Boots, B&Q, Homebase, Tesco, Robert Dyas and Wilkinson will be running discounts on carbon monoxide alarms in January in support of the campaign.

Gas appliances - including gas boilers, ovens and freestanding cookers - should always be installed by a qualified professional on the Gas Safe Register. They should also be regularly serviced and safety-checked. 

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