Carbon Monoxide Detectors play a very important role in keeping you safe in the rare eventuality that a gas burning appliance malfunctions (or has not been regularly serviced) and produces deadly Carbon Monoxide Gas. It is recommended that all gas appliances are serviced every 12 months by a competent operator. Getting and monitoring the right balance of air to fuel in the combustion chamber is a very important aspect towards ensuring that carbon monoxide is not generated within the appliance and leaks out into your home. Whilst a detector may help in detecting the gas your first and most important protection measure is to get the appliance serviced to lessen any opportunity that this deadly gas would be produced in the first instance.

When Installing a Detector it is important to ensure that it is positioned in accordance with the Manufacturer’s instructions in order to protect you.

Some general rules for positioning the Carbon Monoxide Detector are: –

i) Detectors located in the same room as the fuel-burning appliance.

Wall Mounted Detectors

  • If the detector is located on the wall it should be located at a height greater than the height of any door or window but at least 150mm from the ceiling.
  • If the detector is mounted on the ceiling it should be mounted 300mm from any wall.

Freestanding Carbon Monoxide Detectors

  • The detector should be mounted in accordance with the distances quoted for wall mounting. Where this is not practicable The detector should be placed as close to the wall mounted distances as possible or as high as possible in the room containing the appliance and at least above the level of the top of the appliance

General Points

  • The detector should be at a distance of between 1m and 3m from the potential source.
  • If there is a partition in a room, the detector on the same side of the partition as the potential source. In rooms with sloped ceilings, the detector should be located at the high side of the room.


ii) Detectors located in sleeping rooms or remote from a fuel burning appliance.

Detectors should be located relatively close to the breathing area of the occupants.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors should not be installed in the following areas :

  • outside the building.
  • in or below a cupboard.
  • in a damp or humid area.
  • directly above a sink or cooker.
  • next to a door or window, or anywhere that would be affected by draughts.
  • where the air flow to the detector would be obstructed by curtains or furniture.
  • where dirt or dust could collect and block the sensor, and stop it working.
  • in an area where the temperature could drop below –10C or rise to above 40C.
  • where it could be easily knocked, damaged, or where it could be inadvertently. e.g. in shared areas.

A detector is a great tool for being alerted to the presence of carbon monoxide but it is only good if it is operating correctly. You can be certain that you do not follow the manufacturers installation instructions you will compromise the ability of the detector and should not be relying upon this warning you of the presence of carbon monoxide as it could well not be operating correctly.

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