Placement of a carbon monoxide detector

placement of a carbon monoxide detector

This guide is intended to provide general guidance only. It is not intended to give you advice on your personal financial circumstances. You should seek independent professional advice if you’re unsure about anything mentioned in this guide or what choices to make.

Understanding the appropriate placement of a carbon monoxide detector is extremely important. Carbon monoxide is a highly poisonous gas and is produced by the incomplete burning of fuels including gas, oil, wood and coal. This can occur when appliances such as boilers, cookers and ovens are incorrectly fitted, not properly maintained or if their vents become blocked. It’s not just gas-burning products that pose a carbon monoxide risk. Any appliance that burns fuel can produce carbon monoxide, including heaters, oil-fired boilers and fires.

Unfortunately, carbon monoxide is colourless, tasteless and odourless, making it very difficult to spot a leak. That’s why it’s absolutely crucial that you have a working carbon monoxide detector in your home. According to the Gas Safe Register, though, there are some tell-tale signs you should keep an eye out for. These include:

  • Yellow or orange gas cooker flames. Gas flames should always be bright blue.
  • Soot or yellow/brown staining around the appliance.
  • Boiler pilot lights flickering inconsistently, or frequently blowing out.
  • Higher than usual levels of condensation inside windows.

Never rely on these warning signs, though. To protect yourself fully you need a carbon monoxide detector.

Do I need a carbon monoxide detector?

Yes! An estimated 30-50 people in the UK die each year as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning, while many more are injured or become seriously ill. A detector helps to protect your family against this risk.

Where can I buy a carbon monoxide detector?

You can buy carbon monoxide detectors from most DIY stores – go for an audible one so you’re alerted to a leak straight away. They’ll cost between £15 and £35. Make sure your detector bears the British Standard EN 50291 mark, and has a British or European Kitemark.

Is a carbon monoxide detector the same as a smoke detector?

NO! A carbon monoxide detector is not a replacement for a standard smoke alarm – you’ll need one of each.

Placement of a carbon monoxide detector

  • Put a detector in every room that contains a fuel-burning appliance, or in a central location, such as a hallway or a landing.
  • Make sure the alarm is situated at least one metre away from fuel-burning appliances, such as fires, boilers and cookers.
  • Make sure the alarm is at head height (breathing level), but it doesn’t have to be fixed on a wall. You could place it on a table, shelf or a bookcase, for example, but don’t put it on the ceiling.
  • Don’t put it in cupboards, behind furniture or by outside doors and ventilation equipment (such as extractor fans), as this will prevent it from working effectively.
  • Keep the alarm away from areas of high condensation, such as bathrooms or next to cooker hobs.
  • Test the alarm regularly, as you would with a regular smoke alarm, and replace the batteries as soon as the low battery signal beeps.
  • Always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions on placing, testing and servicing the alarm, and pay attention to any notes regarding its battery life and when batteries should be replaced.

Learn the warning signs of carbon monoxide poisoning

Carbon monoxide symptoms are often similar to flu, food poisoning, infections and even simple tiredness. Be alert to these signs, and learn more about protecting yourself at the Be Alarmed website, which contains loads of information about avoiding the dangers of carbon monoxide.

What to do if you experience symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning

  • Get fresh air immediately, open the doors and windows, turn off the gas/fuel appliances and leave the house.
  • Immediately visit your doctor or hospital, they can carry out a blood or breath test.
  • If you suspect immediate danger call the National Gas Emergency Number: 0800 111 999
  • Get your appliances checked and fixed by a Gas Safe registered engineer

How to be gas safe

  • Take a few simple measures to make sure you’re not affected by carbon monoxide:
  • Read customer and safety reviews of appliances before buying a new one.
  • Make sure any engineer installing new appliances is registered with the Gas Safety Register.
  • Have gas appliances serviced every year to make sure they run as they should. If you rent, your landlord should make sure this happens.
  • Your gas supplier may provide a free safety check if you meet certain criteria, such as being disabled, chronically sick or of pensionable age.
If you’d like more free impartial advice on anything from tips on energy efficiency and renewable energy to how to apply for grants and financial support just give us a call on 0800 408 6601 (mobile 0117 934 1999) to speak with an energy efficiency expert or you can email us.

O​VO​ Energy Ltd, registered office 1 Rivergate Temple Quay Bristol, BS1 6ED, company no. 06890795 registered in England and Wales, VAT No. 100119879

Additional terms and conditions
Please see below for full terms and conditions on 33% renewable electricity, 3% interest rewards, exit fees and saving claims.


1Monthly cost - Representative monthly direct debit costs based on a non-economy-7, dual-fuel, medium user (3100 kWhs elec. and 12500 kWhs gas) paying in advance by direct debit, including online discount.  All rates correct as of 15/1/2018, but may go up or down.

2Weekly cost - Representative weekly costs based on a non-economy-7, dual-fuel, medium user (3100 kWhs elec. and 12500 kWhs gas).  All rates correct as of 22/11/2017, but may go up or down.

3Pay Monthly Savings claims: Saving based on the estimated annual cost of OVO Two year fixed tariff for a non-economy-7, dual-fuel, medium user (3100 kWhs elec. and 12500 kWhs gas) paying monthly in advance by direct debit, including online discount. Comparisons made against the average of the Big 6 standard variable tariffs with equivalent features. All rates correct as of 15/1/2018.“The Big 6” are British Gas, Scottish Power, SSE, Npower, E.ON and EDF.

4Pay As You Go Savings are based on the average estimated annual costs for new PAYG OVO customers quoted through the OVO website (based on household and/or consumption information provided by those customers), compared to their current supplier and tariff. Comparisons taken between 01/01/2016 and 11/10/16. Incl VAT. Actual savings may vary according to your current supplier or tariff, individual tariff options, household information, consumption and location. 

We include almost twice as much renewable electricity as the national average: At least 33% of electricity in all of our tariffs comes from renewable sources. The national average, according to Ofgem as at March 2014 was 16.7%. For more information please visit this page.

33% of your electricity comes from renewable sources: 33% renewable electricity as standard as of 1st April 2015. Renewable electricity is generated from wind, solar, geothermal, wave, tidal, hydro, biomass, landfill gas, sewage treatment plant gas and biogas.

3% interest: Calculated at 3% per year for customers paying by advance direct debit.  The OVO Interest Reward is paid monthly based on   number of days in credit and the amount left in your account after you’ve paid your bill,  and the credit balance on which you can earn the OVO Interest Reward is capped. Terms apply:

95% of new customers save when switching to OVO: Savings based on the average estimated annual costs for all new OVO customers quoted through the OVO website, compared to their current supplier and tariff. Comparisons taken between 01/05/2016 and 11/10/16. Incl VAT.

94% of surveyed customers would recommend us: OVO conducted a survey of their customers in between 1st January 2016 and 15th April 2016. Out of 15,312 customers who responded, over 94% rated OVO 6+ when asked 'how likely would you be to recommend us to a friend and family, on a scale of 1 to 10.

uSwitch's Energy Supplier of the Year: OVO energy was voted and awarded  'Energy Supplier of the year' and best for: Overall Customer Satisfaction, Most Likely to be Recommended, Value for Money, Best Deal for You, Customer Service, Billing Services, Energy Efficiency, Meter Services, Online Services, Green Services and Transfer Process. OVO Energy scored a 96% customer satisfaction score.

* EV - Everywhere, full terms and conditions:

* OVO SolarStore (Beta), full terms and conditions:

Pay Monthly unit rates

PAYG unit rates

Read more Read less

Like most websites OVO Energy uses cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on this site. Accept and Close