HOUSEHOLDS in West Yorkshire must do more to protect themselves against the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Research has shown that over a third of homeowners don't have a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm installed, with more than half of those saying they don’t believe detectors are important.

At OFTEC, which runs a registration scheme for off gas grid heating technicians, we have issued guidance for households in West Yorkshire on the steps they should take to protect themselves from carbon monoxide poisoning:

• Be Alarmed – CO alarms should be to British Standard EN 50291 and can typically be purchased for less than £20. Any fuel burning appliance can potentially emit carbon monoxide, which is an odourless gas, making it hard to detect.

• Check the batteries – CO alarms should be regularly inspected to ensure they are working properly by pressing the ‘test button’ and carefully clearing out any dust or debris which could impact how they function.

• Know what to do – if your CO alarm does sound, the advice is to open the windows and leave the room immediately. Once safe, you should contact GasSafe or OFTEC. If you experience any symptoms of CO poisoning, or have vulnerable people in your house, call 999 immediately.

More advice can be found at

There continues to be a lack of awareness over the risks associated with CO poisoning, which can be fatal.

The installation of CO detectors should be viewed with equal importance as having a working smoke alarm.

As well as installing a CO alarm, it’s important to have your heating system serviced annually by a competent GasSafe or OFTEC technician who will ensure everything is working correctly and safely.

Malcolm Farrow, OFTEC