The New EN50291:2018 standard updated the “Test method and performance requirements”, which makes the new carbon monoxide detectors more accurate, reliable, and sensitive.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a gas produced by incomplete combustion of organic compounds due to insufficient oxygen during the combustion. Incomplete combustions can happen in all
combustion system when they don’t work properly.
In dwellings, the emission of CO by combustion systems (space heating system or water heating system) is generally linked with:
• A non-proper evacuation of smoke and products of combustion (obstruction of chimneys or bad sized chimneys);
• A non-adequate ventilation of the rooms where combustion systems are used;
• A non-adequate care or non-proper use of combustion systems.
This gas has no color and no odor and therefore can’t be detected without measurements. It is an extremely toxic gas. Inhalation of CO reduces the ability of the blood to take up oxygen and can cause unconsciousness and death at high concentrations. At lower levels of inhalation, CO can cause a range of symptoms from headaches, dizziness, weakness, nausea to fatigue. CO may also impair fœtal development.
Those most vulnerable to CO exposure are unborn children, infants, the elderly, and people with anemia or heart or lung disease.
According to researches, the European standalone smoke and carbon monoxide detector market are projected to grow at a CAGR of 5.1% during 2019-2025.
Regulations providing recommendations concerning chimney sweeping exist in Italy, Lithuania, Germany, and Hungary. In Italy standards from UNI have been developed. In Lithuania, the rules are based on two legal texts (technical regulation on Safety of Appliance burning gaseous fuel and technical construction regulation on gaseous systems in buildings) which regulate the sweeping for brick-built chimneys (1 time per 3 months) and for metal and ceramics chimneys (1 time per year and before each heating season). An annual inspection of jointly-used appliances for fire safety is also compulsory for multi-occupations buildings. In Hungary, the recommendation is of one checking per year (the checking is restricted to the chimney and does not include the total exhaust system). In Germany, the federal emission control regulation states that a chimney has to be controlled every two years.
New Regulations impose a duty on Landlords to install and maintain smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms or face a Local Housing Authority fine of £5,000.
The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 came into force in September 2015. They impose a duty on landlords of residential premises in England to:-
Install a smoke alarm on each story of premises that are wholly or partly used as living accommodation.
Install a carbon monoxide alarm in any room that is used wholly or partly as living accommodation and contains a solid fuel-burning combustion appliance. Ensure that smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are in proper working order at the start of a new tenancy.
27 states and the District of Columbia require carbon monoxide detectors in private dwellings via state statute: Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia (via the adoption of the International Residential Code), Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Certain states limit the installation to buildings with fossil-fuel burning devices, others only require the device be installed upon the sale of the property or unit.
Another 11 states require carbon monoxide detectors in private dwellings regulatorily through the adoption of the International Residential Code or via an amendment to their state’s building code: Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Virginia, and Wyoming.
Four different ways to prevent and control CO poisoning were detected by the survey:
• regulations aiming at monitoring hospitalizations or fatalities due to CO,
• regulations aiming at monitoring the level of CO in the indoor air of dwellings,
• regulations on quality and upkeep of device that can produce CO,
• regulations on dwelling ventilation and
• regulations on conscious-raising campaigns about carbon monoxide.