Image of CO Detector / Alarm sourced from Kidde's Website.

Over the past few weeks we have been exploring how to keep yourself save against the silent, odourless and tasteless killer, which is carbon monoxide or CO as it is often known.  As a result we were asked after our first post on the subject whether we thought it was worthwhile to purchase and install CO detectors?

Yes, if you were not aware, there is a detector, similar to a smoke detector, which will detect CO.  You can also readily get them in Australia, but they are not very popular, in fact, Energy Safe Victoria do not even recommend them.

Energy Safe Victoria indicate that the best defence from CO Poisoning is to follow the safety precautions we shared with you last week and to be aware of the symptoms.  If you are safe around CO then you should be well equipped in the unlikely event (especially if your appliances are serviced regularly) to ever need one.

The thing with a CO alarm is that we expect it would work in the same way as a smoke detector, beeping to let us know that the noxious gas was in the air and that we simply need to change the batteries each year.  That is not the case, there is more chance of false readings than with a smoke alarm and you are less able to tell whether to take them seriously, which could lead to complacency.  Also you will need to replace the whole unit when the sensor wears out, not just the batteries, so they can also prove to be expensive.

So while we would love to have alarms that will keep us safe 24 hours a day, the units are in general not yet reliable enough and viable enough to be recommended at this point.  That said technology is swiftly moving forward and I am sure it is only a matter of time before such a device does receive the Energy Safe Victoria’s recommendation.

If you do choose to have a CO detector installed, Energy Safe recommend checking that it is independently certified to BS EN 50291:2001 or later.  They also recommend you always follow the manufacturers’ siting and operating instructions.

Note: Although we feature an image from a manufacturer’s website, this is no reflection on this particular alarm as DIY Bargain Bin has not done any specific testing in relation to this article and has relied upon the recommendations of Energy Safe Victoria.

For all your alarm and security needs, check out the DIY Bargain Bin Home Security, Alarms, Cameras, Safes, Sensors and Smoke Detectors section.


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