Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Safety
Carbon monoxide does not occur naturally in the atmosphere and is the result of oxygen-starved combustion in improperly ventilated fuel-burning appliances such as gas water heaters, oil and gas furnaces, gas ovens, gas or kerosene space heaters, fire places and wood stoves. CO is generated by any gasoline engine that does not use a catalytic converter.
Note: In the view of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), a decorative fireplace (non functioning) would not constitute a solid fuel burning combustion appliance.
On 1st Oct 2015 the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 came into force. From that date, private rented sector landlords are required to have at least one smoke alarm installed on every floor of their properties on which there is a room. This is regardless of whether it is used wholly or partly as living accommodation and this includes a bathroom or toilet. Guidance issued by Government is to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and that they should usually be fitted to the ceiling in a circulation space – i.e. on a landing or in a hallway.
Smoke alarms must be checked regularly, both by landlords ensuring that the alarms are in working order at the start of each new tenancy (with potential penalties of up to £5,000 if they don’t comply) and tenants during the tenancy.
The Act also requires carbon monoxide alarms to be installed in all rooms where solid fuel is used i.e. coal or wood-burning stoves.
Warning signs that gas appliances are not working correctly are lazy yellow flames, black marks or stains around the appliance as well as too much condensation in the room.
The 6 main signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are:
- Loss of consciousness.