Carbon Monoxide is often referred to as ‘the silent killer’, this is because it cannot be heard, smelt, tasted or seen. It naturally occurs in air, however, dangerous levels are produced by any type of incomplete combustion and if inhaled it can stop your body from transporting oxygen. Common symptoms include headaches, confusion, drowsiness, burning eyes and a loss of consciousness. If inhaled in high concentration it can lead to brain damage and death.
It is understood that carbon monoxide poisoning in the home accounts for 50 recorded deaths per year, and as many as 4,000 medical visits, according to the Department of Health.
As of October 1st 2015, all landlords of private residential rental properties are required by law to install carbon monoxide detectors in any room that includes a solid fuel appliance such as coal or wood burning fires and stoves.
At the moment this doesn’t cover gas appliances, although these regulations could well be updated in the near future. Therefore it is strongly recommended landlords with gas appliances should also consider installing CO detectors.
If you're a landlord and breach these regulations, you could face a fine of up to £5,000, even if you rent through an agency.
A CO detector should be located in the same room as the solid fuel appliance and in each bedroom for additional safety, preferably away from furniture/light fittings etc. As gas is hotter than air it will more than likely be forced upwards towards the ceiling and therefore near or on the ceiling would be a suitable location.