The importance of fitting Carbon Monoxide alarms with solid fuel, oil, and gas heating systems

Over the past few months the Grant Technical Team has received an increasing number of reports of incidences when carbon monoxide alarms have not been fitted when installing a solid fuel burning appliance. Regulation states that carbon monoxide alarms must be fitted in the same room as a solid fuel heating system (this is mandatory under Building Regulations Approved Document J in England and Wales, and under Scottish Building Regulations 2004: Technical handbook section 3 & 4).

Later this year, the importance of fitting CO alarms will increase further, affecting installers who fit not just biomass boilers but also oil and gas boilers too.

From October 2015, it will be the law for Landlords to install working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in their properties. This measure was announced at the beginning of March this year by the Housing Minister, Brandon Lewis.

Consequently, Grant is continuing to encourage the installers of their products to fit the relevant alarms. Below, we have listed a few key facts to remember:

o When a new or replacement fixed solid fuel appliance is installed in a dwelling, a CO alarm should be fitted in the same room where the appliance is located. This will soon expand to affect oil and gas appliance installations in privately rented properties
o A CO alarm should comply with BS EN 50291:2001 and be powered by an appropriate battery
o Alarms should also have warning devices within them which will alert users when the alarm’s working life is nearly complete
o A CO alarm should either be fitted onto the ceiling at least 300mm from any wall, or on a wall as high up as possible (above any doors and windows) but not within 150mm of the ceiling. Furthermore, the alarm should be between 1m-3m horizontally from the appliance.

For further details about the regulations of fitting suitable alarms with the installations that you carry out, please visit the government website: www.gov.uk.

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