Carbon monoxide alarms

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odourless, tasteless, colourless and poisonous gas that cannot be detected by our senses. CO is produced by incomplete burning of carbon-based fuels such as petrol, oil, wood or natural gas in low-oxygen conditions.

People die every year in Finland from CO poisoning. Most of these accidents take place in caravans, mobile homes and holiday cabins. When breathed in, CO causes "chemical suffocation" and the resulting oxygen deprivation can kill you very quickly.

Take care to install the carbon monoxide alarm in the correct position as carbon monoxide is only slightly lighter than air and does not necessarily rise directly towards the ceiling in situations where there may be various airflows in the building. The speed at which CO rises is affected by its temperature.

CO alarms must not be used in the place of statutory smoke alarms and are not intended to cover for any neglect of maintenance and servicing or appropriate installation of any potential sources of CO.

Where to place the carbon monoxide alarm

  • CO alarms should be placed in rooms with a fuel-powered appliance (such as a fireplace, gas cooker or other fuel-burning appliance).
  • Make sure the sound of the CO alarm can be heard in areas where people spend time in the property.
  • If mounted on the ceiling, the alarm must be at least 300mm from any wall.
  • Combined smoke and CO alarms should be mounted on the ceiling.
  • If mounted on the wall, the alarm should be at least 150mm from the ceiling (because air may stagnate in the corner of the wall and ceiling).

In case of any conflict between user instructions and the above instructions, you should follow the above instructions.

Do not install a CO alarm:

  • outside a building;
  • in an enclosed space such as in or under a cupboard;
  • where it can be obstructed (e.g. by furniture or curtains);
  • directly above a sink;
  • next to a door, window or extractor fan or in other position where it can be subjected to strong airflows;
  • next to an air vent or similar ventilation opening;
  • in damp or wet areas such as bathrooms or shower rooms;
  • in the direct vicinity of or above a kitchen cooker or cooking plate.