Carbon monoxide, also known as CO, has been dubbed the silent killer. That’s because carbon monoxide is undetectable without the right equipment, and carbon monoxide poisoning takes the lives of approximately 6 people in Ireland each year.

Since carbon monoxide is so deadly, it is important that we all know as much about it as possible in order to protect ourselves and our families, and prevent any more unnecessary tragedies in Irish homes..

The good news is, any action you need to take is easy for anyone to carry out; the first thing to do is to install a carbon monoxide alarm. More information can be found on the Carbon Monoxide Alarm page, and we have listed the most important points below.

Where To Install The Carbon Monoxide Alarm

Positioning your carbon monoxide alarm in the right place is vitally important if you want it to work in the way that it needs to keep everyone in the property safe. Here are the best tips on where to put it – or, more correctly, them, as you are likely to need more than one.

  •    There should be a carbon monoxide detector on every floor of your home.
  •    They should be positioned around five feet from the ground, as this is where they will get the quickest, most accurate readings.
  •    They should be near to where people sleep. This is the most dangerous time for those in the home if CO starts to be produced, and an alarm needs to be close by so that if it is triggered everyone can hear it.
  •    If your home has a garage attached to it, an alarm should be placed near to the joining wall.
  •    Where the instructions tell you; each type of detector or alarm is different, and it’s best to follow individual guidelines if need be.

Maintenance of your Carbon Monoxide Alarm

The most important thing to do regularly with your carbon monoxide detectors is test that they are work correctly. Follow the manufacturers’ guidelines on how often you should test your alarm.

Replace the batteries regularly. Again, follow the manufacturers’ guidelines on battery changes in line with your testing. Standard alarms most often use standard batteries and these will need replacing regularly. Monitored alarms, such as the PhoneWatch CO detector, use a longer-lasting battery.

Most carbon monoxide alarms are designed to last for about 10 years, so as well as testing and replacing batteries, you should also plan to replace the full alarm unit within this timeframe to ensure your alarms continue to work as they should.

A simple tip to help you remember the above timings is to match them to other key dates, for example using a birthday, clock-change date, or other easy memorable date as your reminder.

Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations Ireland

As of 1st September 2014, it became compulsory for carbon monoxide detectors to be installed in any room in a home where there is fossil fuels burning, as well as close to (or even in) all bedrooms.

What to do if your carbon monoxide alarm goes off?

If you hear your carbon monoxide alarm sounding then the first thing to do is to check that everyone is feeling well – if anyone is suffering from any symptoms of CO poisoning (including headaches, vomiting, confusion, and dizziness), you must call an ambulance immediately, and get everyone outside of the home.

If no one is feeling any symptoms then you should open the windows to ensure more ventilation and switch off any appliances that are using fossil fuels. It could be any one of them that is causing the problem. When the home is properly ventilated, reset the alarm and if they don’t sound again, make sure you call a professional to check the appliances over, just to make sure. If the alarm does sound again, keep the ventilation going and go outside. If you have any doubt it's worthwhile contacting the fire service.

How Many Alarms Do I Need?

Although there is no set number of alarms – minimum or maximum – that you will need when looking to put them in your home, you should certainly have one on every floor, and there should also be one in each room that contains a device that uses fossil fuels such as a boiler or open fireplace

Monitored carbon monoxide alarm

Early detection of carbon monoxide is critical to protecting your loved ones. When seconds can make a difference to your safety, knowing that someone is always monitoring your alarm and can instantly raise the alarm is true peace of mind. Did you know that even if your alarm is unarmed, the PhoneWatch monitored carbon monoxide alarms and smoke alarm are ‘always on’ and will send signals to the Alarm Receiving Centre. In the event that our carbon monoxide alarm activates, it will generate an immediate response. PhoneWatch will immediately call you and if there is no answer, we will immediately despatch the emergency services to your home.

The PhoneWatch Home Safety System includes a smoke detector as part of the standard pack, carbon monoxide detector is available a sensor of your choice.