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  • Writer's pictureSweep it Cumbria

"Breathe Easy: The Importance of Having a Carbon Monoxide Alarm in Every Home"

Updated: Feb 4

As a professional chimney sweep, I understand the importance of keeping your home safe from potential hazards. One of the most dangerous gases that can be present in your home is carbon monoxide. Often referred to as the silent killer, carbon monoxide can quickly lead to illness or death if not detected in time. In this article, I will discuss what carbon monoxide is, why it is known as the silent killer, where carbon monoxide alarms should be placed, and how long they last.

What is Carbon monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless gas that is produced when fuel is burned. This gas can come from various sources, including gas stoves, furnaces, fireplaces, and even cars. When carbon monoxide is inhaled, it enters the bloodstream and interferes with the body's ability to transport oxygen. This can lead to serious health problems, including headaches, nausea, dizziness, confusion, and even death.

Why is Carbon Monoxide Known as the Silent Killer?

Carbon monoxide is known as the silent killer because as well as being odourless and colourless, it is also tasteless. This means that it is virtually undetectable without the use of specialized equipment. The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are also often mistaken for other illnesses, such as the flu or food poisoning. This makes it difficult to identify and can lead to delayed diagnosis and treatment.

It is important to note that carbon monoxide poisoning can occur at any time of the year, but it is more common during the winter months when homes are sealed up to conserve heat. This can cause a build up of carbon monoxide in the home, which can be deadly if not detected.

Where Should Carbon Monoxide Alarms be Placed?

Carbon monoxide alarms should be placed in every room of the home where people sleep. This includes bedrooms, living rooms, and other common areas. It is also important to place carbon monoxide alarms near any potential sources of carbon monoxide, such as gas stoves, fireplaces, and furnaces.

Carbon monoxide alarm placement

When installing carbon monoxide alarms, it is important to follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully. This includes choosing the right type of alarm for your home and testing the alarm regularly to ensure that it is working properly. Annual testing should be the minimum.

How Long Do Carbon Monoxide Alarms Last?

Like other types of alarms, carbon monoxide alarms have a limited lifespan. The lifespan of a carbon monoxide alarm can vary depending on the manufacturer and model, but most alarms last between 5 and 7 years.

It is important to replace your carbon monoxide alarms regularly to ensure that they are working properly. This can also help to prevent false alarms, which can be caused by faulty sensors or other issues.


In conclusion, carbon monoxide is a serious threat to the health and safety of your family. As a professional chimney sweep, I recommend that every home be equipped with a carbon monoxide alarm. These alarms can help to detect the presence of carbon monoxide and alert you to potential dangers before they become life-threatening.

If you are concerned about carbon monoxide in your home, please don't hesitate to ask us about carbon monoxide alarms when we visit to do your sweep. We are here to help keep your home safe and comfortable all year round.



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