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Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week

17th – 24th November marks Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week, a significant topic in relation to property management, and the safety of your tenants. Did you know that landlords must have atleast one smoke alarm installed on every storey of their property and a co2 alarm in any room which contains a solid fuel burning appliance (e.g coal fire or wood burning stove). This has been a legal requirement since October 2015 and failure to meet these legal obligations could result in a £5000 fine.

What is Carbon Monoxide?

According to Elite Fire, carbon monoxide CO is comprised of equal parts oxygen and carbon, and its poisonous qualities have been noted since the days of the ancient Greeks. When carbon-based fuels fail to burn fully, carbon monoxide can often form as part of a by-product of the chemical reaction. When materials such as gas, oil, wood and coal are burned in an environment that becomes starved of oxygen, carbon dioxide builds up, and the fuel cannot burn correctly. This is when carbon monoxide is released.

Why is this important?

Carbon monoxide is colourless, tasteless and odourless, making it extremely difficult to detect without the aid of specialised equipment. However, exposure to large quantities of it can be highly dangerous. The gas combines with haemoglobin, and essentially replaces oxygen in the blood, poisoning the person inhaling it. In extreme cases, this can be fatal, but is also responsible for a wide range of other negative effects, such as nausea, dizziness and even comas.

Gas Safety Requirements 

While CO alarms are not legally required where there are oil or gas appliances, it is best practice to provide them. Landlords must also ensure that gas appliances and flues are checked annually by a Gas Safety registered engineer. Oil fired appliances must be checked periodically in line with the manufacturer’s instructions – and ideally at least annually by an OFTEC registered engineer. These checks will measure for carbon monoxide emissions and help ensure appliances are safe.

If you would like more information regarding carbon monoxide alarms, please feel free to contact us at the office on 01228 792299 where one of our estate agents will be able to advise you on detection alarms in your property to ensure your property is fully compliant with the law.

Credit: National Landlords Association

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