If you use carbon monoxide to associate a country, which country is your first impression? Without a doubt, the UK. The number of accidental deaths caused by carbon monoxide in the UK is around 60 each year, and there are thousands of patients hospitalized due to carbon monoxide, which makes the UK have to enact some relevant laws for carbon monoxide.
Why carbon monoxide poisoning is so serious in the UK?
In the UK, the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning is higher, which means higher carbon monoxide emissions, which are mainly related to the UK’s national conditions and people’s living needs.
The United Kingdom belongs to a developed country with heavy industry. As early as 1952, the large discharge of industrial waste gas in the United Kingdom led to the famous London fog event. Thousands of people died because of the fog. After the aftermath, from then on, the British government realized the importance of carbon monoxide poisoning and moved large factories from the cities to the countryside, which alleviated the threat of high concentrations of carbon monoxide.
The UK has a temperate oceanic climate, mild and humid all year round. It does not feel very hot in summer, but it is very cold in winter. It is this feature that people rely on heating for warm in winter. Frequent use of heating will shorten the service life of the equipment. If the equipment is not regularly inspected and maintained, and the ventilation pipes are dredged, it is very easy for carbon monoxide gas to accumulate indoors, causing people to inhale carbon monoxide without realizing it and be poisoned.
In conclusion, the development of heavy industry in the UK makes the concentration of carbon monoxide in the atmosphere of the UK higher than that of other countries. In addition, the type of climate in the UK makes people rely on heating equipment for warm, and also greatly increases the hidden danger of carbon monoxide leakage. These two main factors make Carbon monoxide poisoning in the UK is very serious.
|10 cities with the highest risk of carbon monoxide poisoning||Percentage of people who say they don’t have a carbon monoxide alarm|
The above are the 10 cities with the highest risk of carbon monoxide poisoning in the UK. Most households in these cities do not have carbon monoxide detectors installed, indicating that most people do not pay attention to carbon monoxide.
Although as many as 60 people die from carbon monoxide poisoning in the UK every year, carbon monoxide has not been taken seriously, and the British government has not mandated that every home be installed with carbon monoxide detectors until June 17, 2017. That day, a fire broke out in the Grenfell Tower apartment in London, killing 72 people and 223 people escaping. The first territory to implement the law was England, which was announced in February 2019 and came into force in February 2022. Wales also announced the Tenancy Act in 2016 and put it into effect on December 1, 2022. After the effective date, if a carbon monoxide detector is not installed in the home, it will be fined. The purpose of this is to make people pay enough attention to carbon monoxide and reduce the occurrence of accidental deaths.
Some requirements of the new regulations
Taking the Scottish regulations as an example, the regulations for households and detectors are as follows:
Requirements For Homes：
Regardless of age or property type, whether they are old dwellings or new builds that have been extended or refurbished before or after the new requirements come into force;whether rented or privately owned; as long as they are a house, you must install smoke alarms, heat alarms and carbon monoxide alarms in the room.
Requirements For Alarms:
Power: All alarms must be powered by a power source (hard-wired to the circuit, not a power plug) with a battery backup (minimum 10-year battery life), or a tamper-resistant battery that can be used throughout the alarm’s life.
Requirements For Detectors:
Smoke alarm: Need to install interconnected smoke alarms in living room, bedroom, hallway(7~10-year battery life)
Heat alarm: Interconnected heat alarms must be installed in the kitchen(7~10-year battery life)
Carbon monoxide alarms: Must be installed in places where carbon fuel equipment (heaters, boilers) or flues are installed, and may not be interconnected with other alarms(7~10-year battery life)
Requirements For Landlords:
From October 1, 2022, all rooms with fixed-burning appliances, such as gas boilers or gas stoves, will require carbon monoxide alarms. However, gas stoves are not included in the updated regulations.
When you install any other equipment in your home, you also need to install a new carbon monoxide alarm. The cost of installing and maintaining these sirens will be covered by your landlord. However, the responsibility for regularly testing the alerts still rests with you as the tenant.
More details about Scottish laws please click here.
Tips of installing detector at home
The law stipulates that every home needs to install carbon monoxide detectors, but how many detectors and where they are installed are also very particular.
The number of detectors installed in the home mainly depends on the size of the house. For example, if there are 4 rooms in a two-story building, it is necessary to install smoke detectors in the corridors of the stairs and living rooms, carbon monoxide detectors in bedrooms and rooms with gas appliances, and heat alarms in the kitchen. If there are more rooms and higher floors, the more detectors are needed.
As for the installation location, generally speaking, the smoke detector needs to be installed on the ceiling, because the smoke is floating upward; the carbon monoxide detector needs to be installed on the wall about 1 meter away from the ceiling. Firstly, carbon monoxide is slightly lighter than air, it will float up, Secondly, it is fixed on the wall so that people can easily see the number to prevent false alarms.
More details about installing detectors please click here.
Maintenance And Tips:
- Test carbon monoxide detectors monthly to see if they are functioning properly
- Check/replace battery-powered detector batteries every six months to prevent dead power
- Clean the detector monthly to remove dust from the surface, do not use water or liquids such as disinfectants, because the detector will short-circuit due to internal water
- When using the kitchen, please turn on the hood and open the window
- Do not grill indoors
- Do not turn on multiple heaters at the same time