The number of faulty smoke and CO alarms is alarming

Jonathan Senrio, Chairman of VeriSmart Inventories, shows how to correctly test CO alarms.

Jonathan Senrio, Chairman of VeriSmart Inventories, shows how to correctly test CO alarms.

A housing industry expert is warning about the dangers of carbon monoxide alarms this Christmas, citing figures that up to 80 per cent don’t reach British safety standards.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is known as the ‘silent killer’ and in sufficient quantities can kill a household, with pets and children succumbing first.

Jonathan Senior, Chairman of VeriSmart Inventories, said that more than half of alarms posed a ‘high’ or ‘serious’ risk.

The company, a national inventory service headquartered in Poole, Dorset, trains its licensees to test alarms properly.

This involves spraying a controlled amount of the gas at the alarm so the sensor is tested – not just the batteries. VeriSmart also tests smoke alarms in a similar way.

Correctly testing a smoke alarm...

Correctly testing a smoke alarm…

With more households enjoying open fires and naked flames over the festive period, the dangers are even greater.

Jonathan said: “Our licensees work around the country compiling paper-free inventories, keeping tenants safe and landlords legal.

“They carry out other services including smoke and CO alarm testing and the number they find not working is worrying.

“We work alongside John Stones of GasSafe Europe who sat on the committee that implemented the first British Standard, and advised on CO and smoke alarm legislation.

“His company supplies DetectaGas, the testing kits that we use so landlords can be sure their CO alarms are in good working order. This keeps them within the law, but more importantly keeps tenants safe.

“One report co-funded by the European Union and the Product Safety Forum of Europe (PROSAFE) found that more than half (52%) of the carbon monoxide (CO) alarms tested posed a ‘high’ or ‘serious’ risk.

“One reason is that the sensor is disabled if it is exposed to temperatures below freezing, and when they are shipped from the Far East they can experience temperatures that low.

“A Trading Standards survey last year found that up to 80 per cent of CO alarms didn’t meet British standards – and some of these were Kitemarked.

“I would urge anyone with smoke and CO alarms to ensure they are properly tested – not just by pressing the button.”

The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations mean there is a requirement for smoke alarms to be fitted on every floor of every rented property.

CO Alarms are legally required in every room that is a living space where there is a solid fuel burning appliance.


Notes to editors:

VeriSmart Inventories was re-branded in 2015 after developing its unique smart verification software that allows for the paper-free inventories to be compiled with speed and accuracy. The company was launched 25 years ago in the Bournemouth and Poole conurbation in Dorset, where it is still headquartered. The new technology allowed the business to adopt a franchise model. Some of its licensees make a substantial six figure income. It operates across England and now Wales.

For more information contact Ed Baker at Deep South Media on 01202 554601 or 07788392965