Is Your Holiday Home Protected From The ‘Silent Killer’? Carbon Monoxide Responsibilities For Accommodation Providers

When someone books a holiday, what features do they look for? Maybe a hot tub, fire pit or log burner for that little bit of luxury? A carbon monoxide detector might not be top of the list, but with carbon monoxide (CO), or the ‘Silent Killer’ responsible for around 60 accidental deaths every year in England and Wales, ensuring your holiday accommodation is CO safe should be a priority. Did you know that as a holiday home owner in England, you have a legal responsibility to comply with regulations relating to carbon monoxide safety? Holiday-makers want to have peace of mind that their safety is a top priority when booking a holiday, and carbon monoxide safety is no exception.

Why is carbon monoxide dangerous?

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a highly poisonous gas with no smell or taste and can be difficult to detect without the aid of a carbon monoxide detector. Symptoms such as tiredness, shortness of breath, nausea and headaches can be easily mistaken for flu or food poisoning. However, after exposure to high levels for 2 hours, the person may become unconscious and could die from this poisonous gas. With such sudden consequences, early detection is critical.

Accommodation providers: Your responsibilities

CO gas is produced by the incomplete burning of fuels containing carbon, for example coal, wood, gas or charcoal. A build-up in emissions of CO gas can come from:
• Faulty gas appliances
• Fuel burning stoves, open fires or BBQs used in poorly ventilated areas
• Running a car engine in an enclosed space.

Holiday Home Owners, like landlords, have a responsibility to ensure that their properties are compliant with the regulations Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015. These regulations state that a carbon monoxide detector should be fitted in any room that has a solid fuel burning appliance such as a log burner or open fire. Whilst not a legal requirement, it is also advisable to install a detector in any room with a gas or oil burning appliance such as a boiler or oven. You should also check and log all smoke and CO alarms on change-over day for added peace on mind.

The maintenance of gas appliances in all properties is also of paramount importance. The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 outlines the legal duties of self-catering accommodation providers to ensure the safety of any guests. All gas appliances should be installed and checked annually by a Gas Safe Engineer. Accommodation providers need to ensure adequate ventilation throughout the holiday accommodation. This is of particular importance in caravans, lodges and tents or glamping pods.

Provide information for your tenants

With frequent change-over of tenants and short-term occupancy, it may also help to provide a factsheet with guidance on carbon monoxide safety. Information such as how to locate and turn off the mains gas supply, what to do if the carbon monoxide alarm goes off or who to contact in an emergency may prove invaluable. Some tenants will be unfamiliar with gas appliances and general advice on how to use them safely could be useful.

Furthermore, unlike some smoke alarms that are prone to false triggers, a CO alarm is very unlikely to go off unless it detects carbon monoxide. False alarms are very unlikely and residents should be advised to act immediately and assume it is an emergency situation. Many people are not aware of the CO emissions from BBQs and camp fires. Cosy fires and family BBQs can prove deadly if emissions are allowed to accumulate in a tent, glamping pod or caravan. Campsites or caravan sites are advised to alert campers to the possible dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning from these activities.

Confidence in the UK holiday market

With the trend in UK ‘staycations’ looking set to continue into next year, ensuring the safety of guests in all accommodation will only help to increase confidence in UK holidays. Families should have peace of mind that their safety is of the utmost importance. There are many options for carbon monoxide alarms including combined or separate smoke and CO alarms, audible and visual cues and fixed or portable units. The requirement of each accommodation type varies depending on size, risks and structure.

The Kidde 7DCO alarm is a great solution for most providers as it is Kitemarked as safe for use in all domestic situations as well as in caravans, boats and tents. Its 10-year lifespan, digital display and option for free-standing or wall-mounting makes it a reliable and flexible option. And, with readings taken every 15 seconds and displayed on the digital panel, guests would have complete peace of mind that they are protected from the ‘silent killer’.

A suitable carbon monoxide alarm
Digital Display Carbon Monoxide Alarm 10 Yr Warranty – Kidde 7DCO

If you are an accommodation provider and would like more information, please contact our customer care team on 0800 612 6537.

Mel Saunders

Marketing Designer

Mel joined our team at the start of 2020. She creates our marketing materials and manages our social media accounts.

Gas Safety Week 2019 – How aware are you of the dangers from carbon monoxide?

How aware are you of the dangers poorly maintained gas appliances pose to you and your loved ones? This year Gas Safety Week (16th – 22nd September) has a particular focus around the most vulnerable of us, ensuring that everybody is aware of the importance of gas safety and looking at ways to protect every member of our society.

Badly maintained gas appliances can have a devastating effect, causing fires, explosions, gas leaks, and carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a deadly gas that is produced from poorly combusted gas and it can kill within a few breaths. There are no warning signs, you can’t see, smell or taste it! The only way to detect CO is with a carbon monoxide alarm.

Do you know the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning?

With over 50 deaths from CO poisoning every year in the UK and thousands of recorded cases of CO poisoning it is important to know what to look out for.

There are 8 symptoms to be aware of:

Having persistent dull headaches and tension type headaches.

Persistent Headaches

Having waves of dizziness or feeling light headed and off balance.

Dizziness

Feeling like you need to be sick (nausea) and actually being sick (vomiting)

Nausea / Vomiting

Pains in your stomach or lower abdomen, sometimes accompanied by diarrhoea.

Stomach Pains

Sudden shortness of breath or difficulty breathing (dyspnoea)

Difficulty Breathing

Having no energy or feeling tired, sleepy, lethargic and sluggish.

Tiredness

Sudden collapse, seizures or loss of consciousness.

Sudden Collapse

Confusion, difficulty concentrating and becoming easily irritated.

Confusion

If you, or someone you know, has any of these symptoms, which improve when they leave the house, the chances are that carbon monoxide is present in their home.

What to do if you suspect there is a carbon monoxide leak

If you think there is carbon monoxide leaking into your home you should:

  • Open doors and windows to let fresh air in and turn off your gas appliances before leaving the building
  • Call your gas provider or a Gas Safe Registered Engineer
  • Inform your neighbours, CO can penetrate walls and seep into adjoining properties
  • Seek medical advice
  • DO NOT ENTER your property until you have been told it is safe to do so
  • Install a CO alarm for an early warning signal that the deadly gas is present

How to stay safe

Ensure that gas appliances are well maintained and checked at least once a year by a Gas Safe Registered Engineer. Once you had an appliance serviced it is important to regularly check that it continues to work correctly, for example, gas cooker nozzles may become partially blocked by food, causing the gas not to burn correctly. If you notice any of the following signs, then your gas appliance may not be working correctly.

  • Dull yellow or orange flames
  • Black marks on your appliance or on walls near them
  • A pilot light that frequently goes out
  • Higher than normal amounts of condensation in the room where the appliance is

While thinking about your own gas appliances and how safe they are, have you thought about checking the safety of elderly relatives, too? With deterioration in eyesight and an increased chance of having a disease that affects memory, such as dementia, elderly people are particularly vulnerable. Gas cookers and gas fires can accidentally be left on and an elderly person may not notice that their gas appliance has an orange flame.

Fit a carbon monoxide alarm for peace of mind. The alarm will sound and give early warning sign that CO is present, enabling early evacuation and repair of appliances. Alarms such as the Kidde 5DCO have a digital display, which will display the CO concentration even if there are only very low levels of CO, giving you advanced warning of CO before the levels become dangerously high. If the CO gas levels rise to a dangerous level, the 5DCO will sound the full alarm.

If you would like further advice please call our customer care team on 0800 612 6537.

Gas Emergency Services: 0800 111 999

Angie Dewick-Eisele

Marketing Manager

Angie has been our marketing manager since joining in 2002. She also has a keen interest in H&S issues.

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Do I need a Carbon Monoxide alarm?

All homes that have a fuel burning appliance, such as gas powered boilers, heaters, ovens, stoves and open fire places, should have at least one carbon monoxide (CO) alarm. As reported in a recent ITV news article, carbon monoxide kills around 50 people every year in England and Wales. (The NHS website estimates this figure to be even higher at around 60 fatalities each year). The article quotes the UK Fire Services that incidents of carbon monoxide poisoning have risen by 32% over the last five years. Campaigners on the dangers of carbon monoxide state that over 40 million Britons are at risk. But you don’t have to be one of the statistics.

Known as the Silent Killer, carbon monoxide is created from the inefficient burning of gas and solid fuel. Having your appliances properly serviced, maintained and tested is essential to ensure it is properly working, but this is not a guarantee that you will be safe. Faults can and do develop between inspections.

Even if your home is supplied and heated only with electrical appliances there are still risks. Carbon monoxide can seep through seemingly impermeable walls and can enter your home from a faulty appliance of your neighbour as well as from adjoining garages that house vehicles and petrol-fuelled equipment such as lawnmowers.

Carbon monoxide alarms are now more affordable, more reliable and more discreet than ever before. Every one of our CO alarm range is certified to BS EN 50291 Part 1 which defines the standard that CO alarms must be made to for use in the home. We even stock a range that are suitable for camping, caravans and travel when gas cookers and heaters are commonly used (these alarms are certified to BS EN50291-2).

For greater peace of mind an alarm with digital display, like the Kidde 5DCO carbon monoxide alarm, will enable you to see exactly what levels of CO are in your home, so you can check your appliances before CO levels become dangerously high.

For further advice or to discuss our wider range of carbon monoxide alarms, call today on 0800 612 6537.

See our full range of CO alarms

Our full range of CO alarms covers every need for every home

John Reetham

Product Administrator

John is one of our product administrators. He has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to fire extinguishers and evacuation equipment.

Carbon monoxide likely cause of fishermen’s deaths

boatTwo young fishermen have been found dead on a trawler moored in Whitby Harbour, North Yorkshire. Early reports suggest the men suffered carbon monoxide poisoning, having left an oven ring burning throughout the night to provide heat.

Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless gas – often dubbed the ‘Silent Killer’ – and can kill quickly if inhaled in high concentrations.

Following a similar incident in April 2013, when  a mother and her 10 year old daughter died on Lake Windermere, MP Barry Sheerman, chairman of the All-party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group (APPCOG), urged boaters to safeguard against the noxious gas by following Boat Safety Scheme advice.

This advice can be found in a booklet Safelincs produced in conjunction with Boat Safety Scheme and CoGDEM  (The Council of Gas Detection and Carbon Monoxide Monitoring).

Printed copies are available free of charge from Safelincs.

Everybody – home owners and caravan owners as well as boat owners – should have a carbon monoxide alarm, but these are not a substitute for the good installation, regular servicing and proper maintenance of fuel burning appliances and engines.

Safelincs works with brain injury charity

Safelincs has formed a relationship with brain injury charity Headway to increase the awareness of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, to raise funds for the charity and to emphasise the importance of installing a CO alarm.

HeadwayLogoSafelincs has created a Headway branded subsite selling CO alarms linked to directly from the Headway main site. We fulfil the orders and for every alarm sold we donate £2 to the charity.

Headway was formed in 1979 to promote understanding of all aspects of brain injury and to provide information, support and services to people with a brain injury, their families and carers.

CO exposure can lead to anoxic brain injury because it binds very tightly to haemoglobin in the red blood cells and so reduces the amount of oxygen which can be carried in the bloodstream.

Carbon Monoxide is produced if there is not enough oxygen during the combustion process. It is commonly produced in appliances fuelled by Liquefied Petroleum Gas, natural gas, oil, petrol, wood or coal that have been badly fitted, are damaged, badly repaired or poorly maintained.

It is important that appliances are regularly maintained and to have a CO alarm installed. Fatalities have even been known to occur where the deadly gas has leaked from an adjoining property.

Safelincs also offers a dedicated information website to inform about carbon monoxide poisoning.

Don´t Forget to be CO Aware in the Festive Season

A lot of homes are now fitted with central heating and are so well insulated that open fires are only lit on special occasions to create a cosy ambience. For many, Christmas may be the only time they light their fire. Having open fires that are not regularly maintained could put your life at risk.

It is essential that before the festive season begins you ensure that your chimneys have been swept. This ensures that the coal and wood smoke will be expelled properly and will significantly reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. It is also strongly recommended that you have a co alarm in every room where there is a solid fuel burning appliance; this can include kitchens with gas ovens, boiler rooms or living areas with gas or solid fuel fires.

The symptoms of co poisoning are very similar to that of flu and are therefore often overlooked. One major difference is that the symptoms, including headache, lethargy and nausea, improve when you go outside. Should you suffer from any symptoms related to carbon monoxide poisoning, do not hesitate to contact your doctor. For more information about the signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning or to find out more on how to protect yourself, the Carbon Monoxide Info website is full of relevant information.

Safelincs help promote CO awareness with CAPT

Safelincs has entered into an agreement with the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) to help it promote Carbon Monoxide awareness.
CAPT is the UK’s leading charity working to reduce the number of children and young people killed, disabled or seriously injured in accidents.

Two of the carbon monoxide alarms supplied by Safelincs will have £1 donated to CAPT for each sale.

Safelincs involvement with CAPT comes at a time when the charity is developing a DVD for parents, carers and other interested parties, focusing on the dangers of all types of poisoning. Safelincs is working with the charity to help ensure that CO poisoning is particularly highlighted and will help promote the DVD and other materials when they become available.
To help promote these important messages we have also created an information portal about carbon monoxide poisoning.

Carbon Monoxide Issue to be Addressed in Coronation Street

Producers of Coronation Street have been taking advice from the Gas Safe Register about how to realistically portray  the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning. The story line of character Fiz Brown being found in a coma due to carbon monoxide poisoning is due to be screened in December.

The show´s bosses want to ensure that this story line is as realistic as possible. They believe that thousands of their viewers may not be aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide and hope that this story will not only have them on the edge of their seats but that it will help to spread the awareness of the dangers of this silent killer.

Installing a carbon monoxide alarm could save your life. They are not expensive and easy to install. If you are unsure what carbon monoxide is or how it could affect you, visit this information site

Another tragic death due to carbon monoxide

This weekend the tragic death of a teenager occurred whilst she was camping with her family in Shropshire. The cause is thought to have been carbon monoxide poisoning. The other family members were found unconscious in the tent and taken to hospital.

The carbon monoxide poisoning is believed to have originated from the smouldering embers of a disposable BBQ, which was seen in the porch of their tent. Carbon monoxide can not be seen or smelt. It is paramount that in order to prevent tragic deaths like this, campers are made aware of the dangers of taking cooking equipment into tents for either cooking food or for warmth.

Camping in the UK is slowly changing, as the temperatures are remaining low longer and dropping at night. Anyone planning a camping holiday at this time of year should ensure that they have adequate bedding to keep warm at night and hat they have some form of outside cover to enable them to use BBQs and cookers a safe distance away from the tent, even when it is raining.

Taking a BBQ or cooker into a tent can cause the carbon monoxide to accumulate and linger even once the appliance has been removed. This can then render the occupants unconscious or even cause their death once they go to bed.

Our safety tips are simple: NEVER take a cooker or BBQ into your tent to cook food or as a source of warmth. ALWAYS cook a safe distance away from your tent to prevent any CO from being blown into your tent space.

Be aware of the symptoms of CO poisoning, such as headache, nausea, dizziness, drowsiness and irregular heart rate. If you or any person in your tent has these symptoms, seek medical advice.

For more information about carbon monoxide visit www.carbonmonoxideinfo.co.uk

CO Alarm for Caravans and Motorhomes

Prepare for the summer season by installing a CO alarm for caravans. Because caravans are a confined space, the potential for the build-up of deadly carbon monoxide gas is greater. If you have already fitted a CO detector, ensure that you carry out your pre-holiday safety checks. This should include checking or replacing the batteries and testing smoke, heat and CO alarms. It is also advisable to check when your alarms need replacing. Sensors in these types of alarms become less effective over time and will need to be replaced after 10 years.

Kidde 7DCO for caravans and motorhomes
The Kidde 7DCO CO Alarm for caravans and motorhomes

Choosing a CO alarm for caravans and motorhomes

Not all carbon monoxide alarms are suitable for use in caravans or motorhomes. Choosing a suitable alarm is important because if the CO alarm you have isn’t recommended for use in camping environments, you may not be alerted to dangerous levels of CO gas. Choose an alarm that is:

  • Kitemarked to British Standard BS EN50291-2
  • Certified for use in caravans
  • Suitable for wall mounting
  • Battery operated
  • CE marked

Kidde 7DCO

The Kidde 7DCO is ideal for caravans. It can be easily wall mounted using the fixings included in the pack. The digital display shows readings taken every 15 seconds and will indicate any changes to the level of CO gas detected. The alarm is supplied with 3 x AA batteries that are easy to replace when the warning chirp indicates that the power is low.

The Kidde 7DCO is certified for use in caravans and has a warranty for the full 10 year lifespan of the product.

Caravan fire extinguisher and CO alarm
Kidde 7DCO can be easily wall mounted in your caravan or motorhome
Kidde Carbon Monoxide Alarm - 7DCO / 7DCOC
Kidde Carbon Monoxide Alarm - 7DCO / 7DCOC
  • FREE delivery
  • Product Life: 10 years
  • Battery: replaceable AA alkaline batteries included
  • Warranty: 10 year warranty
  • Displays CO levels from 10ppm
  • Peak Level Memory - recalls highest CO levels
  • Ideal for domestic use and camping, caravans & boats
  • Kitemarked to BS EN50291-1 and BS EN50291-2
£14.09 ex VAT
£16.91 inc VAT
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