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Carbon Monoxide and Fire alarm Query

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Dear Safelinks,

I recently visited a school, within the boiler room there is a carbon monoxide detector built into the system which is installed at a low level around 900 from floor level.  My understanding  is (CO) is slightly lighter than air, so carbon monoxide alarms are effective when placed on the ceiling or high up on a wall.  I would appreciate your advice on this point ?

The other point I noted there was no fire detection in the boiler areas. In the vast majority of the school there is no fire detection , there are call points throughout the school, there are some detectors but these are domestic. There are in the region of 280 pupils and 35 staff.

Look forward to your advice.

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With respect to the fire alarm existing school standards only require a manual fire alarm system (i.e. call points) for life safety (but are advised to have it for property protection which is not a legal requirement) unless they are used in part for extra curricular activities or have areas with a high risk layout where detection is sometimes required.

An exception is schools of  CLASP construction, which have an acknowledged high risk of rapid & hidden fire spread and it's usual to provide full detection to these.

Domestic detectors are unsuitable and of little use in this environment and don't comply with workplace legislation for fire warning systems if battery only in any case, plus only provide a very localised warning - detection should be part of the main fire alarm system.


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There is a lot of conflicting views on the best location to install a CO detector but IMO the manufacturers instructions would be the best to use. For instance Kidde instruction for Model 10SCO is https://www.safelincs.co.uk/templates_safelincs/files/datasheets/2777_kidde-10sco-user-manual.pdf and page 8 details the fixing loction.


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