FAQ’s

/FAQ’s

The battery may be low or weak. Is the Battery Light yellow or green? If it’s yellow, it means the battery is low. Replace it with a new battery.

NO! 

The test/silence button is the only proper way to test the CO alarm.

Press and hold the Test Button on the front of the alarm until the alarm sounds.

Remember, CO is an odourless, colourless gas. If your carbon monoxide alarm went off, it detected CO. Make sure no one has any symptoms of CO poisoning. Here are a few situations that may cause alarms: The CO alarm needs to be relocated. The CO alarm should be located 5.5-7 metres (15-20 feet) away from all fossil fuel burning sources like furnaces and stoves. It should be located 3.5 metres (10 feet) away from sources of humidity like showers. Fossil fuel-burning appliances not burning fuel completely. Check pilot lights/flames for blue colour. Appearance of blue flames indicates incomplete combustion-a source of carbon monoxide. The type and age of the CO alarm. If your CO alarm is one with a SensorPack® Module: The SensorPack® Module should be replaced after 2 years of use. If you have a plug-in alarm: Was the unit unplugged and then plugged in again?

For ease of viewing you can locate the alarm about 1.5 metres (5 feet) off the floor. Carbon monoxide weighs about the same as air and distributes evenly throughout the room/house. Choose a location where the CO alarm will stay clean and out of the way of children or pets. See your User’s Manual for specific installation requirements.

Install a CO alarm on every level of your home.

Avoid these locations: DO NOT locate a CO alarm in garages, kitchens, furnace rooms or in any extremely dusty, dirty, humid, or greasy areas. DO NOT place units in direct sunlight, or areas subjected to temperature extremes. These include unconditioned crawl spaces, unfinished attics, uninsulated or poorly insulated ceilings, and porches. CO alarms should not be located in outlets covered by curtains or other obstructions, in turbulent air near ceiling fans, heat vents, air conditioners, fresh air returns, or open windows. Blowing air may prevent CO from reaching the CO sensors.

Install at least one CO alarm near or within each separate sleeping area. In the same room as the appliance and for added protection, install an additional CO alarm in the vicinity of – but not directly next to – the fuel burning heat sources. It is recommended you install CO alarms between 1 to 3 meters from these appliances to minimise nuisance alarms. Avoid locating CO alarms directly next to sources of humidity like bathrooms and showers. In two storey houses, install one CO alarm on each level of the home. If you have a basement, install that CO alarm at the top of the basement stairs.

This depends on the type of alarm you have. It should last about 5 years, then it should be replaced with a new CO alarm. If in doubt check your manual.

No 

If the alarm sounds, respond as follows: 1. Check if anyone is experiencing the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning — headache, dizziness, nausea or other ‘flu-like’ symptoms:– 2. Open the doors and windows to ventilate. 3. Turn off any fuel-burning appliances where possible and stop using them. 4. Evacuate the property leaving the doors and windows open. 5. Ring your gas or other fuel supplier on their emergency number. 6. Do not re-enter the property until the alarm has stopped. 7. Get medical help immediately for anyone suffering the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning (headache, nausea), and advise that carbon monoxide poisoning is suspected. 8. Do not use the fuel-burning appliances again until they have been hecked by an expert. In the case of gas appliances this must be a Gas Safe registered installer. 9. If no symptoms exist, operate the Test/Reset button and immediately ventilate the home by opening the windows and doors. 10. The alarm can be silenced by pressing the Test/Reset button.

Move everyone in the house to a location with fresh air. The “Move to Fresh Air” message printed on the face of newer CO alarms is a reminder to move all family members to an area with fresh air if the alarm sounds. You should not unplug or move the CO alarm itself.

This is different for each person. Since it is a poison, it affects everyone at different levels. Age, size, and health are other factors that can determine the effect CO has on them. You should contact your own physician for advice regarding this question. Everyone is at risk from carbon monoxide poisoning, but some people are more vulnerable. Unborn babies, infants, children, seniors, and people with heart or lung problems are at higher risk from CO poisoning.

Carbon monoxide weighs about the same as air.

Mild Exposure: Slight headache, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, flu-like symptoms. Medium Exposure: Throbbing headache, drowsiness, confusion, fast heart rate. Extreme Exposure: Convulsions, unconsciousness, heart and lung failure. Extreme exposure can lead to brain damage and death.

Because CO robs your blood of oxygen. When you inhale carbon monoxide, it bonds with the haemoglobin in your blood, displacing life-giving oxygen. This produces a toxic compound in your blood called “Carboxyhaemoglobin” (COHb). Over time, exposure to CO can make you sick. Victims exposed to enough carbon monoxide can suffer brain damage or even die.According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), 1500 people die each year because of CO poisoning and another 10,000 become ill. Since you can’t see, smell, or taste carbon monoxide, it can make you sick before you even know it’s there.

 It is a natural by-product of incomplete combustion. Carbon Monoxide can be produced by gas or oil appliances like a furnace, clothes dryer, range, oven, water heater or space heater. When appliances and vents work properly, and there is enough fresh air in your home to allow complete combustion, the trace amounts of CO produced are typically not dangerous. These conditions can cause CO levels to rise quickly:

  • Appliance malfunction, i.e. the heat exchanger on your furnace cracks.
  • Vent, flue, or chimney is blocked by debris or even snow.
  • Fireplace, wood burning stove or charcoal grill is not properly vented.
  • Vehicle is left running in an attached garage and CO seeps into the house.
  • Several appliances are running at the same time, competing for limited fresh air. This can cause incomplete combustion and produce CO, even if all appliances are in good working condition.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an invisible, odourless gas. It is a common by-product of incomplete combustion produced when fossil fuels like wood, coal, charcoal, gasoline, kerosene, natural gas or oil burn.

Like all devices with electronic components, smoke alarms have a limited effective service life. As electronic devices, smoke alarms are subject to random failures. In 10 years there is roughly a 30% probability of failure before replacement. After 15 years, the chances are better than 50/50 that your alarm has failed. That is too big a risk to take. Replacing alarms after 10 years protects against the accumulated chance of failure, but monthly testing is still your first, best means of making sure your alarm will work.

You can obtain a replacement manual in two ways: We will gladly send you a replacement user’s manual or equivalent instructions. Please have the model number handy when requesting a replacement manual. Email us or call +44(0)800 1412561 Current user’s manuals are also posted in the manual download section of the site.

Ionisation Smoke Alarms – Generally more effective at detecting flaming fires which consume combustibles quickly and spread rapidly. Sources of these fires include paper burning in a waste-basket, or grease fires on a stove.Optical Smoke Alarms – Generally more sensitive than ionisation technology at detecting large particles of smoke, which tend to be produced in greater amounts by slow smouldering fires, which may smoulder for hours before bursting into flames. Sources of these fires may include cigarettes burning in bedding or furniture.

Check your User’s Manual or the label on the back of the alarm. Never use rechargeable batteries because they do not always provide a consistent charge.

Check your User’s Manual or the label on the back of the alarm. Never use rechargeable batteries.

Any of these situations can cause a low battery chirp: Does your smoke alarm have a silence button? If so, the button may have been pressed by mistake. The alarm will now “chirp” once a minute for up to 15 minutes. Are you sure it’s the smoke alarm? Other devices have similar low battery chirps or warning tones. Even “new” batteries may not be fresh. If batteries are stored, especially in cold areas like refrigerators, they lose their charge more quickly. Always check the freshness date on the package when buying new batteries.

The maximum number of smoke alarms that BRK recommends should be interconnected is 12. If you are using a mains powered system with the DS700RF interlink base then the maximum number of alarms that can be interconnected is 50.

 It is normal for the smoke alarms to sound briefly (up to 5-10 seconds) when they are powered up. If the alarm continues to sound and no smoke is present, the cause may be: Insufficient battery or AC power. Very low batteries or insufficient electrical power (brown out) may cause a continuous weak sounding alarm. For DC models, change the battery (DC). For AC or AC/DC models, temporarily disconnect power at the service panel until the brown out is over. If you do not restore the AC power, your smoke alarms cannot warn you of a fire. Incompatible warning device. If an incompatible alarm or auxiliary device is linked into a series of AC or AC/DC smoke alarms, it may cause the system to alarm.

Try the following before assuming the alarm is not responding: Make sure you didn’t accidentally press the silencebutton (if model has the feature). You may have accidentally pushed the silence button, which temporarily disables the test function. You can tell the unit is in silence mode if the red light is flashing rapidly, and the alarm “chirps” about once a minute for up to 15 minutes. The test function will return to normal when the smoke alarm is no longer in silence mode. Hold the test button down longer. Try holding the test button down for up to 10 seconds (20 seconds on photoelectric models.)Check the power supply. Make sure the battery is installed properly and snapped all the way in place. Even if the alarm sounded briefly when the battery touched the terminals, you still need to make sure it is snapped securely in place. If the battery is loose, it cannot power the smoke alarm properly. Make sure the AC power is on. AC and AC/DC units will have a power indicator light (red or green) that shines continuously when they are receiving electrical power. 10-Year Models ONLY (The smoke alarm may not have been properly activated. If the tab broke away before the alarm was activated, you can use a toothpick to move the switch over to activate the alarm.

The same factors that cause unwanted alarms can cause intermittent alarms. Dust, insects, and power interruptions. See previous question for more details. The “chirp” may also be caused by: Low battery As the battery in a smoke alarm becomes weak, the smoke alarm will “chirp” about once a minute to alert you that the battery needs to be replaced.

Any of these situations can cause unwanted alarms: Smoke alarm may need to be relocated. Install smoke alarms at least 7 metres (20 feet) from appliances like furnaces and ovens, which produce combustion particles. Alarms should be at least 3.5 metres (10 feet) from high humidity areas like showers and laundry rooms, and at least 1 metre (3 feet) from heat/AC vents whenever possible. Cover or sensor chamber is covered by dust or dirt. Alarms may look clean, but dust can accumulate inside the cover, even in newly built homes. Gently vacuum smoke alarms regularly using the soft brush attachment. Insects covered or clogged the sensor chamber. Clean the smoke alarm with the soft brush attachment on your vacuum. To prevent repeat problems, clean and treat the surrounding area with insect repellent (DO NOT SPRAY THE SMOKE ALARM). Alarm was triggered from another part of the home. In a system of interconnected AC or AC/DC alarms, the unit triggering the alarm is in another part of the home – smoke may be present, but you can’t see it. Power interruptions to AC/DC smoke alarms. These smoke alarms may alarm briefly when power is interrupted, then restored. Power interruptions are common in areas where utility companies switch grids in the early hours of the morning. A loose electrical connection on AC or AC/DC smoke alarms. In AC or AC/DC smoke alarms, loose connections can intermittently disconnect power to the smoke alarm. The effect is the same as a power failure. When power is restored, the units may alarm briefly.