It’s About Saving Lives

Each year 40 people die in England and Wales as a result of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. And more than 4,000 people are hospitalised with symptoms, which could lead to brain damage and strokes. An estimated 100,000 might be affected without knowing.

We're campaigning for a change in the law to make CO alarms mandatory wherever a carbon-burning appliance is installed - it's already law in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

We have support from leading CO alarm manufacturer, Honeywell, trade and industry bodies, boiler manufacturers, and the Katie Haines Memorial Trust.

As an industry we have a duty of care. Pledge your support today - and help us reach our target of 100,000 signatures. Together we can save lives.

Sign the petition

Spot the signs

Appliances and flues that have not been properly installed or maintained, or that are poorly ventilated, can restrict oxygen supply and lead to the release of excessive levels of CO into the air. These appliances include:

  • Gas boilers
  • Oil boilers
  • Gas fires
  • Gas cookers
  • Coal, wood or oil burning stoves
  • Oil burning ranges/Agas
  • Gas fired water heaters

Be aware of the symptoms

Absorbed into the body, CO poisoning occurs, which can kill quickly and without warning. Victims who survive CO poisoning or suffer prolonged low-level exposure may suffer permanent neurological damage.

Monoxide symptoms

Identify the signs of a carbon monoxide escape early

  • Gas burning with lazy yellow flames instead of crisp blue ones
  • Black marks or soot streaks around the appliance
  • Discolouration or stains on or around the appliance and flue
  • Too much condensation in the room

If in doubt, call the Gas Emergency Helpline on 0800 111 999.

Find out what you should do if these symptoms arise


Since April 2012, installation of gas appliances must only be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer holding a CPA1 certificate.

  • Gas Safe engineers must be qualified to carry out the specific type of work required. You must produce your Gas Safe ID card to prove that you are qualified.
  • Perform annual safety checks on all carbon burning appliances, including gas boilers, gas cookers, gas fires, gas fired water heaters, solid fuel burning stoves and oil boilers.
  • Always test an appliance and the area surrounding it using a flue gas analyser as visible signs of escape may not be apparent.
  • Always ensure there is enough ventilation surrounding the appliance to allow combustion to occur correctly and make sure no air vents supplying the device are blocked.

If you’re not qualified, don’t risk it. Get trained. It’s the law.

Find out more about training courses


Detection should always be undertaken using a fully functional and calibrated combustion gas analyser. The engineer must be qualified to use the instrument.

Parts Center and Plumb Center carry a comprehensive range of test equipment and offer service and calibration from every branch.

Understand what you should do depending on CO levels results
Honeywell CO evacuate alarm

Protecting the public

All premises both domestic and commercial are best protected through the installation of audible carbon monoxide alarms. Each alarm must be located near to the carbon-burning appliance in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidance.

Wireless detectors are easy to fit and don’t require an electrician. That means there is an opportunity to sell at least one device to the majority of homeowners and businesses in the UK. This provides additional revenue opportunity for you.

When it comes to CO detectors, you tend to get what you pay for. Remember, the cheapest model won’t necessarily offer you a level or reliability and protection you require.

Read more

So here are 4 things you should look out for in a detector:

  • Select a unit from a trusted manufacturer
  • Ensure the units are officially approved and kitemarked t the latest European Standard (EN50291)
  • Consider choosing a long life sealed battery powered alarm. Some models can operate for up to 10 years without needing replacement batteries.
  • Some devices have an ‘action text’ feature which gives users a clear indication of what they should do in the event of an alarm activation