Carbon monoxide (CO) is a silent killer. Invisible and odourless, it can infiltrate our homes without warning. At CCTV Glasgow, we understand the importance of home safety, and that’s why we’re here to guide you through the essentials of carbon monoxide alarms.

Key Takeaways

  • Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless gas that can be deadly.
  • CO alarms are essential for every home.
  • There are various types of CO alarms, each with its features.
  • Regular maintenance and testing of CO alarms are crucial.

Understanding Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide is a by-product of incomplete combustion. Common household items, such as gas stoves, heaters, and fireplaces, can produce this gas. When inhaled, CO prevents oxygen from entering our cells and tissues, leading to severe tissue damage and even death.

The Science Behind Carbon Monoxide Detectors

CO detectors are designed to measure CO levels over time. They sound an alarm before dangerous levels of CO accumulate, giving people adequate warning to safely ventilate the area or evacuate. It’s essential to understand that smoke detectors and CO detectors serve different purposes. While smoke detectors alert you to the presence of smoke, CO detectors warn you about dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.

Types of Carbon Monoxide Alarms

There are several types of CO alarms available:

Battery-Powered Detectors

These are wireless and can be placed anywhere in the home. They run on replaceable batteries, ensuring they work even during power outages.

Hardwired Detectors

These detectors are connected to the home’s electrical system but also have backup batteries in case of power failures.

Plug-In Detectors

These detectors get power from an electrical socket and come with a backup battery.

Smart CO Detectors

Smart detectors can send alerts to your smartphone, allowing you to monitor your home’s safety even when you’re away.

Features to Look for in a CO Alarm

When choosing a CO alarm, consider the following features:

  • Test Button: Allows you to test the alarm’s functionality.
  • Digital Display: Shows the level of carbon monoxide in the air.
  • Voice Alerts: Provides audible notifications about CO levels.
  • Interconnectivity: Allows multiple alarms to be linked, so if one goes off, they all do.

According to Consumer Reports, some of the best CO alarms this year include models from Google Nest, First Alert, and Kidde. These models have been tested for their efficacy in detecting both low and high levels of CO.

Installation and Maintenance

For optimal protection, install a CO alarm on every level of your home and outside sleeping areas. Test the alarms monthly and replace batteries annually. Hardwired and plug-in detectors come with backup batteries that should also be checked regularly.

The Role of CCTV Glasgow in Home Safety

At CCTV Glasgow, we pride ourselves on being experts in home safety. Beyond surveillance, we understand the nuances of various alarm systems, including CO detectors. Trust us to guide you in ensuring your home is safe from both visible and invisible threats.

Understanding the Dangers of CO

Carbon monoxide is often referred to as the “silent killer” because of its stealthy nature. It’s crucial to be aware of the symptoms of CO poisoning, which can include dizziness, nausea, confusion, and in severe cases, unconsciousness or death. Early detection and intervention are vital.

Why Every Home Needs a CO Alarm

Every home, regardless of its age or the appliances it contains, can be at risk for CO. Whether it’s from a malfunctioning furnace, a car running in an attached garage, or even a fireplace, the sources of CO are numerous. An alarm acts as an early warning system, ensuring the safety of all occupants.

Selecting the Right CO Alarm for Your Home

When choosing a CO alarm, it’s essential to consider the size of your home, the number of potential CO sources, and the alarm’s features. For larger homes or those with multiple potential sources of CO, interconnected alarms might be the best choice.

Comparison of Top CO Alarms of 2023

Brand/Model Power Source Features Price
Google Nest Protect Battery/Hardwired Smart alerts, Voice notifications £119
First Alert 3120B Hardwired Dual-sensor, Interconnectivity £34.99
Kidde PI2010 Hardwired Dual-sensor, Battery backup £34.97
First Alert CO615 Plug-In Digital display, Peak memory £33.94

Installation Tips

While installing CO alarms might seem straightforward, there are best practices to ensure they function optimally:

  • Height: CO is roughly the same weight as air, so alarms can be installed at any height. However, it’s best to avoid placing them right next to or over fuel-burning appliances.
  • Bedrooms: Ensure there’s at least one alarm near each sleeping area.
  • Basements: If you have a furnace in the basement, it’s wise to have a detector there.
  • Garages: If you have an attached garage, place a detector near the door to the main house.

Maintenance and Replacement

Like all devices, CO alarms have a lifespan. Most last between 5-7 years, but it’s essential to check the manufacturer’s recommendations. Test the alarm monthly and replace batteries as needed. If the alarm chirps, indicating low battery, replace it immediately.

Maintenance Checklist

Task Frequency Notes
Test Alarm Monthly Use the test button
Vacuum Every 6 months Remove dust from the exterior
Battery Replacement Annually For non-lithium batteries
Replace Alarm Every 5-7 years Check manufacturer’s recommendation

CCTV Glasgow’s Commitment to Safety

At CCTV Glasgow, our commitment goes beyond surveillance. We believe in a holistic approach to home safety, ensuring every aspect, from security to environmental hazards, is addressed. Our team is continuously trained on the latest safety technologies, ensuring we provide the best recommendations and services to our clients.


  • How often should I replace my CO alarm?Most CO alarms last between 5-7 years, but always check the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Can I install a CO alarm in my kitchen?It’s best to avoid placing CO alarms directly in kitchens or too close to fuel-burning appliances to prevent false alarms.
  • What should I do if my CO alarm goes off?Immediately move to fresh air and call emergency services. Ensure all occupants are accounted for and do not re-enter the home until it’s declared safe.