Reviewed by Louise Edwards
Carbon monoxide is a dangerous, poisonous gas that kills hundreds of people every year and injures even more. It is known as a silent killer as it cannot be smelt, tasted or seen. Like oxygen, CO enters the body and competes with oxygen, replacing it in the red blood cells reducing the supply of oxygen to brain, heart and other vital organs. Exposure in sleep is particularly dangerous. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning may range from mild exposure with slight headache, fatigue and dizziness with nausea after 2-3 hours through to severe exposure with convulsions and unconsciousness then ultimately death.
The FireAngel CO-9D Digital Carbon Monoxide Alarm was packaged up in a nice presentation box. It was easy to open and you could activate the batteries by removing the tab. It was working almost straight away. It is basically a detector, like a fire alarm you would have in your home, that monitors the level of CO as parts per million (ppm) in the atmosphere surrounding the detector.
There are many potential sources of carbon monoxide in the home – oil and gas boilers, portable generators, oil or solid fuel cookers, gas heaters, clogged chimneys and cigarette smoke to name a few. A carbon monoxide detector will of course not replace combustible gas detector and should not be seen as a substitute for proper installation, use and maintenance of fuel-burning appliances nor the sweeping of chimneys.
The device is small and stylish. It is a sealed unit and the lithium battery will last at least 7 years. The battery isn’t replaceable after this time so you would need to buy a new alarm. There is a visual display screen on the alarm which will tell you when the battery is low as well as giving an indication as to levels of carbon monoxide. It also tells you the temperature of the room which is handy.
It is suggested that an alarm is placed in every room in the house but the beauty about this little device is that you can move it around the house as you move between rooms. Priced at £29.99 they are however, a worthy investment for safety and peace of mind that cannot be measured and I would definitely place at least one on every floor of the house, particularly if you have a multi-fuel burner.
If dangerous levels of CO are detected (50ppm) it will sound a loud 85dB warning, luckily enough I haven’t had to experience this and hope I never have to (with the exception being when testing the alarm as it has a practical sensor test where you can enter sensor test mode and test with a cigarette or incense stick). It also features an automatic self-diagnosis check, which tests its own sensor and battery.
You can also take this alarm with you when you travel and it is ideal to use in tents or caravans, particularly where you cook if it isn’t very well ventilated. A reassuring addition to every household.
For more information or to buy visit www.fireangel.co.uk.