Choosing the right carbon monoxide detector can be a minefield.
We stock only the best, most reputable and certified brands. And with over 25 different models you can have confidence we have the right one for you.
But how do you choose? This guide helps you navigate our range and narrow down the choices. And because we have this wide range, offer the best prices and are the only site to offer free delivery across the range you can buy with confidence.
So lets get started in helping you find the right detector, so you can be confident you are detecting the hidden carbon monoxide danger and protecting the lives you are responsible for.
Read this guide and then use the product filters in our products section to narrow down your choices.
1. How many carbon monoxide alarms should I have?
The law varies across England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Northern Ireland and even further afield into Europe. But the simple truth is any fossil fuel-burning appliance can omit harmful and even deadly carbon monoxide. That means boilers, gas-stoves and heaters, open fires, log burners – anything that burns gas or solid fuel.
The realty is there are approximately 40 to 50 deaths per year in the UK and over 4,000 cases treated. The dangers are real, hidden and probably under reported due to the opaque nature of carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms. So we recommend that you have a carbon monoxide detector for every fuel burning appliance in your home to be truly protected.
2. What’s your primary use for the carbon monoxide alarm?
our home It’s for recreational use
(caravan, motorhome, boat)
It’s for both home and
recreational use I’m a
For the Home
All our alarms are suitable for domestic use, come with CE approval and are kite marked to the appropriate version of the British Standard. They all conform to the manufacturing standard EN50291 – 1:2010. This gives you confidence that they all meet the test methods and performance requirements for the detection of carbon monoxide in domestic premises. You should only buy a detector for your home that conforms to these standards.
In our products scection, you can use the filters to left to then select what other features you might want: power type, battery life and special features to find the detector that is right for you.
For Recreational use (caravans, motorhomes, boats)
This selection of products is suitable for recreational use in boats, caravans and motorhomes. All come with CE approval and are kite marked to the appropriate version of the British Standard. They all conform to the manufacturing standard Recreational EN50291 – 2:2010 but also the Domestic standard EN50291 – 1:2010. Meaning they can be used in the home or in your recreational vehicle. You should only buy a detector for your recreational vehicle that conforms to these standards.
In our products section, you can use the filters to left to then select what other features you might want; power type, battery life and special features to find the detector that is right for you.
For both home and recreational use (caravans, motorhomes, boats)
This selection of products is suitable for recreational use on boats, caravans, motorhomes and in the home. They all come with CE approval and are kite marked to the appropriate version of the British Standard (conforming to the both manufacturing standards Recreational EN50291 – 2:2010 and Domestic EN50291 – 1:2010). If you want an alarm to be used in both environments you should only buy a detector for that conforms to these standards.We would however recommend you have separate devices for each use because carbon monoxide can be apparent when you are not there.
In the products area, you can use the filters to left to then select what other features you might want; power type, battery life and special features to find the detector that is right for you.
I’m a Landlord
We have picked a selection of products as suggestions for landlords. We have selected them on the basis that they are to varying degrees tamper proof and offer long-life protection. For peace of mind in the duty of care to your tenants you may want additional special features. For example:
- The ability to connect multiple alarms in one system, so if one alarm detects a danger other alarms will sound.
- The ability to download reports and diagnostics from the detector. This is a particularly useful facility to use as part of property check prior to change of tenant, as part of an annual gas safety check, to generate real-time information if carbon monoxide leaks are detected or if a faulty appliance has been reported.
From the 1st October 2015 regulations require carbon monoxide alarms to be installed in rented residential accommodation in rooms with a solid fuel appliance. However with a duty of care to your tenants we recommend that all landlords install detectors regardless, because any fossil fuel-burning appliance can omit deadly carbon monoxide.
3. Power Type – from 1 year, to 10 year, to permanently wired solutions
Carbon monoxide alarms come with three different primary power types:
Mains powered carbon monoxide alarms are ideal if you are installing carbon monoxide protection as part of a new build, rewiring project or extension. Equally, mains power is a good option if you a landlord with a duty or care and want the confidence of a solution that is tamper proof. Most mains powered alarms come with the added security of a sealed-for-life lithium battery giving you additional peace of mind that you are protected even if there is a period of time when the mains power is down. If you don’t want to connect the detector to the mains (as this will require an electrician), but want tamper proof and long life protection, you should consider our sealed-for-life battery range.
Sealed battery carbon monoxide alarms are ideal if you want the peace-of-mind of a longer life solution for 5 to 10 years. If you are worried about people taking batteries out, or not confident you will regularly check your alarm is in working order, then a sealed battery option will be best for you.
Sealed-for-life battery detectors come with varying number of years the battery will operate the alarm for, before you need to replace the unit. The options are for 5, 6, 7 or 10 years battery life.
For even more peace of mind you could look to get a mains powered alarm with lithium battery back up.
Replaceable battery carbon monoxide alarms are ideal for cost effective protection. They often come with an end of life warning so you know when to replace the battery. But we still recommend you check they battery regularly as the batteries supplied may only last for 1 year. If you are worried that you won’t check regularly then we would recommend a sealed-for–life battery option so you have longer protection and more peace of mind.
For even more peace of mind you could look to get a mains powered alarm with lithium battery back up.
4. Special Features
Carbon monoxide alarms vary from basic units that detect carbon monoxide and sound an alarm, to having a variety of extra features that help you have confidence that you are managing the danger. And surprisingly some of the extra features don’t cost a lot more so they are definitely worth considering.
LCD or Digital Display – giving you more information on the detector
Carbon monoxide alarms with a LCD or digital display on the front of the alarm provide you with additional information that help you understand and manage the level of carbon monoxide risk. Some show peak levels of carbon monoxide recorded so you can understand if there is even the slightest incidence of carbon monoxide in your environment. Others have more advanced features like bar charts showing early CO build up, room temperature, whether the alarm has been triggered in your absence, alarm faults or battery level. They are available in either replaceable battery, sealed-for-life battery or mains powered so you can chose the one that is right for you.
Reporting and Diagnostics – giving you even more information to your phone or tablet
Carbon monoxide alarms with reporting allow you to download reports to a phone or tablet that enable you to see the event history stored on the alarm. Such features give you ultimate peace of mind, particularly if you are a landlord with a duty of care over your tenants. You can use this facility as part of property check prior to a change of tenant, as part of an annual gas safety check, to generate real-time information if carbon monoxide leaks are detected, or if a faulty appliance has been reported. The type of information you can see include time of any alarm, peak carbon monoxide levels, number of alarms recording, and more. The FireAngel range requires a manufacturer-approved specialist to download the information. However the Aico range enable you to do this yourself easily and straight to a smartphone or tablet app.
Connected – so you can create a carbon monoxide detection network
Connected carbon monoxide alarms allow you to connect multiple alarms in a networked solution. So if one detector in the system detects a carbon monoxide danger it will signal to the other units and all will sound the alarm. This gives peace of mind that wherever the danger is in your property it will be heard whenever the people at risk are. Some brands enable up to 50 alarms to be connected wirelessly at the touch of a button. Others can only be hardwired together in a system and will require an electrician.
Combined CO and Smoke
In some cases you might want to protect people in your property from both smoke and carbon monoxide dangers. This can be done by using one combined detector, or a value pack that contains two separate detectors for each danger. However, you need to consider where the carbon monoxide alarm needs to be positioned.
The CO detector should be positioned near to the fuel-burning appliance. If this is a cooking appliance, open fire or log burner you could end up with more false smoke alarms that you want. So having smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in separate units may be a better idea, depending on the layout of your home.
If you are positioning an alarm in a different place to an appliance that might cause false smoke alarms, then having both smoke and carbon monoxide detection in one unit could be a good option. But in this case always have a carbon monoxide detector near to the fossil fuel burning appliance to ensure you are protected. See our guide on where to position carbon monoxide alarms.
If you decide to have more than one alarm, which we would recommend if you have more that one fuel burning appliance in your home, then creating a connected network could be good solution and should also be considered if you have a larger property.