Because of the serious threat of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, it is now compulsory in Scotland to install a CO alarm when a fuel-burning appliance is fitted. New homes in Northern Ireland, as well as the UK, also have to be fitted with CO alarms before they can be occupied.
It is always a good idea to have a CO alarm as it is the only way to protect yourself and your family from CO poisoning.
More than half of the British population do not have CO alarms, which can put them at serious risk of being poisoned.
Carbon monoxide is a silent killer because it has no odour, colour or taste. It is usually produced by a faulty or poorly ventilated fuel-burning appliance such as a boiler, fire or cooker.
At high levels, carbon monoxide can kill in a matter of minutes. At lower levels, it can cause a range of serious and long term health problems.
The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are very hard to recognise, as they are similar to many common illnesses like flu and food poisoning.
It is better to be safe than sorry, CO detectors are reasonably priced and usually last 10 years.