So you’ve been down to your local DIY store and splashed out to keep you and your family safe. Your new CO alarm is sat in its packaging, with the fixings ready, waiting to be put up. It’s an audible one, so it’ll wake you up if there is a CO escape at night. It complies with British Standard EN 50291 and carries either a British or European approval mark such as the Kitemark. The battery will last for the lifetime of the alarm – 7 to 10 years depending on make and model – or it will let you know if you have to change the battery. You’ve got one for every fuel burning appliance in your property, and extra ones for your bedrooms, ready to put up. But, where exactly?
CO can come from any hydrocarbon fuel that hasn’t burned cleanly – including coal, wood, oil, petrol, diesel and natural gas. When they burn properly – with proper ventilation and removal from general residential areas – the carbon in the fuels combine with oxygen to create carbon-dioxide or CO2, the same thing we breathe out after we breathe in oxygen. But when the fuel doesn’t burn cleanly, there isn’t enough oxygen to create CO2, so we end up with incomplete combustion where the oxygen shares the carbon, and you end up with deadly CO. Continue reading “CO – colourless, odourless, deadly – what to do?”