Best Carbon Monoxide Alarm to take on Holiday

Very few people are killed accidentally from Carbon Monoxide poisoning – but it is always tragic and totally preventable.

I think I am pretty safe in my house but what about when I go on holiday: I  may not even know that there could be a risk of CO poisoning.

I don’t want to worry you but carbon monoxide travels through walls and floors.


  • people in a hotel unaware that they are sleeping next to the boiler room or above a room with a fireplace.
  • a family were poisoned in a tent – the CO came from a smouldering BBQ -OUTSIDE.

The last time I stayed at a Have Holiday caravan park the first thing I noticed was that the Gas Safety Certificate was out of date!  I reported it, of course – and credit to them, the safety check was done the very next day.

I plan to take a CO alarm to any future holiday destination.

Any new CO alarm with a Kitemark and British Standard EN 50291 should be OK.  For it to be useful you must get it out of your suitcase and out of the box!  Put it on a table, bookcase or chest of draws and away from a draught – so not on the window ledge.

British and US Carbon Monoxide alarms will be triggered by the right (or wrong)  combination of events:

  • as CO levels rise and
  • as higher than normal CO levels are recorded over an extended time period.

Normally CO will be resent in very small amounts, less than 10 parts per million.  CO is created when ANY fuel is burnt – where there is a flame there could be CO (eg. gas cooker) – but usually in small measure.

Naturally, CO can rise and fall in a way that is not any danger to health.  So a rise in CO will not trigger your CO alarm unless that level remain high for sometime.

This may sound vague but this is because it depends on how high and for how long – levels of 50 ppm are not usually dangerous but not ideal and may led to long term health consequences.

I want a CO monitor that actually gives me values for the CO in the atmosphere so that I can see if the long term levels are high even if they are not high enough to trigger the alarm. Or if there are exceptionally high peaks for very short period, which also would not trigger the alarm.

If you buy an alarm that reports this data you need to understand it.

Here you will find a useful table indicating the time-scales for exposure to CO at different levels and associated symptoms:

In summary 10 ppm or less is ideal and considered safe.

Up to 50 ppm or even higher for a while is nothing to worry about.

When the CO level exceeds 100 ppm we want to see it fall again quite quickly.

Exposure to CO at 400 ppm is life threatening after about 3 hours (less for children & pets).

If CO levels rise much above 800 ppm you can consider this to be an emergency – everyone must get to fresh air quickly to avoid unconsciousness: so open all the door and windows before getting the children or you run the risk of all being knocked unconscious.

Levels over 6,000 ppm can kill with 25 minutes but that doesn’t mean you have 25 minutes because the CO can render you unconscious very within seconds.

Getting back to the original question:

Which Carbon Monoxide Alarm would I buy?

I am more familiar with Honeywell and FireAngel brands, though others should be just as good.

At £22.50 this is a good buy from Tesco: the Fireangel Digital Carbon Monoxide Alarm Catalogue Number: 100-6185  you can also buy it from B&Q at a slightly higher price.  Or here it is on amazon:

Corgi have recommended the Honeywell H450EN carbon monoxide detector without all the extra data, it can generally be bought for about £23.

For information on Carbon Monoxide you could visit the website a wide range of films have been gathered onto this site to provide information to adults and children of all ages about the dangers of CO.


1 Response to “Best Carbon Monoxide Alarm to take on Holiday”

  1. 1 Best travel guides July 5, 2014 at 9:41 am

    Very good post! We are linking to this great post on our site.
    Keep up the good writing.

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