HOUSEHOLDERS are being warned that lifesaving devices might not be what they are cracked up to be.
Trading Standards officers say that some carbon monoxide alarms they tested that were obtained from small online suppliers did not sound an alarm when checked with the deadly gas.
The three that failed are marked with the following on the back of the alarm, amongst other information: Model : JHY-CO-AR/JHY-CO-AC, Model: CP8005. Date of Manufacture 201111.Date of Replacement 201411 and BRJ-906LCD.
Nine carbon monoxide alarms were bought by officers from Leicestershire Trading Standards, which covers the Hinckley area, and then tested by a laboratory.
Those bought from Leicestershire shops all worked correctly, but three of the alarms bought from small online retailers did not sound an alarm and detect carbon monoxide at levels that could cause serious illness or death.
The six alarms bought online cost between £12 and £23, while the ones bought in local shops were £20 to £33.
The Trading Standards Service is taking steps to remove the alarms from sale and issue recall notices.
It has worked with the businesses concerned to remove the defective product from the market.
Officers believe that very few of these alarms have been sold in the UK.
David Bull, head of the service, said: “Whilst a carbon monoxide alarm can help, it is not a substitute for regular servicing of appliances. So it is very important for a competent person such as a Gas Safety registered engineer to regularly service appliances like boilers, gas fires, water heaters or open fires, to make sure flues are not blocked or that any burners are correctly adjusted.”
Two of the alarms were from suppliers based in the UK who have removed them from sale and organised product recalls.
The third was available from dozens of traders from outside the UK, and sold through well known shopping websites. One website has already taken steps to remove 73 separate trader listings, and another website four separate trader listings, but they may still be available online.
Tips on buying and using carbon monoxide alarms include:
* Get appliances such as boilers, gas fires and water heaters checked regularly, and chimneys swept.
* Remember to test the alarm regularly, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
* Sensors in carbon monoxide alarms don’t last forever – check the manufacturer’s quoted lifetime for your alarm and replace it no later than recommended.