Carbon Monoxide Guidance For Holiday Homes

Feeling safe and secure in our homes is paramount and carbon monoxide is a serious risk in a holiday home. Carbon monoxide is invisible and odourless, deprives the body of oxygen and can cause serious injury or death. This guide is designed to help you to understand the law and protect you and your family, guests or tenants from carbon monoxide poisoning.

It is a legal requirement to fit a carbon monoxide detector in any room where there is a solid fuel burner like a wood stove. The regulations do not insist on installing one in rooms with oil or gas ovens and boilers but it is recommended.

When a burner, stove or oven is poorly ventilated it can produce carbon monoxide instead of harmless carbon dioxide. Regularly check and clean out all vents in your holiday home and make sure chimneys and flues are regularly swept.

Ensure that boilers, heaters, cookers and other appliances are serviced regularly by a qualified engineer.

At the moment the law requires you to check smoke and carbon monoxide alarms at the start of every tenancy. This is mostly to do with long term lets, not holiday homes. To be safe, checking at each changeover of guests does not take long. If a log and photographic record is kept, future difficulties may be avoided. A check on opening up and then monthly should be enough if you are staying in your own holiday home.

Carbon monoxide alarms should be positioned at head height, either on a wall or shelf, approximately 1 to 3 metres away from a potential source of carbon monoxide.

In general, it is a good idea to keep up with what your legal requirements are when it comes to smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. This article aims to be a quick guide. For more information, look at the pamphlet produced by the UK government.

Spotting carbon monoxide poisoning

According to the NHS, every year there are around 60 deaths from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning in England and Wales.

From the NHS website:

tension-type headache is the most common symptom of mild carbon monoxide poisoning.

Other symptoms include:


feeling and being sick

tiredness and confusion

stomach pain

shortness of breath and difficulty breathing

The symptoms of exposure to low levels of carbon monoxide can be similar to those of food poisoning and flu.

Symptoms of more serious exposure are listed here. If you suspect anyone is suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning get them away from the suspected source and into fresh air. If symptoms persist or worsen, get them to A&E as quickly as possible or call 999 for an ambulance. Most mild carbon monoxide poisoning does not require hospital treatment but as the consequences can be brain damage or death, it is better to seek medical advice as fast as possible.

This is a marketing article from My Holiday Home Insurance, a specialist provider of insurance for holiday homes, leisure homes, holiday lodges and static caravans. Our team of experienced advisers are always happy to help, so for more information call our Northampton office on freephone 0800 988 0890.

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