‘The only way to properly test a CO alarm is to test it with a known source of calibrated test gas’

Published:  21 February, 2012

Mounting recognition for the CO safety test product campaigning for life-saving change: Detectagas shortlisted for two more awards

Late last year Gas Safe Europe celebrated after Detectagas was chosen as Installer Live’s ‘Safety Initiative of the Year: 2011’ and Landlord and Letting Magazine’s ‘Supplier of the Year 2011/12’.  In the wake of last year’s wins Detectagas is now the most acclaimed product in the category for the industry and its inventor John Stones is hoping for a good performance at the H&V News awards where Detectagas has now been shortlisted in two categories, ‘Domestic Product of the Year 2012’ and ‘Safety Initiative of the Year 2012’. 

The product is used to test the sensor element of CO alarms, and it has seen its manufacturer go from strength to strength, in step with a safety campaign that is attracting mounting support.

John Stones – who brought the product to market more than 15 years ago – celebrated this latest industry recognition as Detectagas moves into international markets for Gas Safe Europe. “Even though Detectagas has attracted numerous high profile award nominations and wins over the years it is particularly rewarding to be recognised here, especially for an awards scheme that attracted so many entries.

 “This sector is aware of the need to sensor-inclusively test CO alarms on installation and annually thereafter, and these efforts should be acknowledged.  But resistance to this kind of testing continues from some CO alarm manufacturers and major gas utility companies - some of whom have sold millions of CO alarms - and the government and standards legislators in the UK and Europe.

 “At the same time our industry is becoming increasingly aware of the dangers presented by inadequate testing of the CO alarms people rely on to guarantee their safety.  Testing these alarms’ sensors regularly is critical if we are to protect ourselves, and the reason we continue to strike a chord with award initiatives celebrating excellence is that Detectagas makes it quick, cost effective and simple.

 “We stopped selling CO alarms in 1996 when we became aware of the problem that the ‘test button’ only tests the circuitry, buzzer and battery, not the sensor. I developed Detectagas to enable our customers to test their alarms and patented the idea. Our work since has been to increase awareness against opposition from the remaining CO alarm manufacturers who seem reluctant to have their alarms tested within warrantee.  Our product is even used by BSI to check the continuing performance of CO alarms.

 “We persuaded the authorities in the USA to recognise the need for sensor inclusive testing and it become a regulation on Jan 1st 2012.  We are looking forward to the UK catching up, in the meantime we estimate around 10 million CO alarms in the UK may appear to be working when the so called ‘test button’ is pressed but may not in fact be sensing gas.”

  • Operation Florian

Sign up: eMagazine & eNewsletter

The latest issues in your inbox.

Company Profiles

Waterax - We move water

Trusted by wildland firefighters around the world, WATERAX sets the industry standard by developing innovative, portable fire pumps and water-handling equipment designed to withstand demanding applications and rugged environments.

Big Water Flow for Industrial and Municipal Firefighting Applications

Protecting the lives of the public and firefighters while limiting the structural damage caused in large scale fires is our primary mission

We are committed to improving lives and doing business in the right way

We have a unique mix of capability and culture that we refer to as 3M Science and we strive to develop products that improve people’s daily lives in a multitude of ways.

HazSim - Bringing situational HazMat training to life

HazSim, LLC provides innovative simulation training to ensure your team works safely and effectively. HazSim Pro simulation equipment is in use by hundreds of fire departments, training schools, industrial fire teams, and private trainers across the US, Canada and further afield as well as the US Army.

The ultimate in innovation, quality and service

For 60 years Lehavot has been delivering the world’s most advanced fire detection and suppression automatic systems

Advancing rescue technology

The specialist supplier of quality PPE and Rescue Equipment to Emergency Services.

Revolutionizing fire fighting foam technology

The one-stop resource for fire fighting foam concentrates and custom-designed foam suppression systems hardware.

Trust the best, let us be your foam solution

AUXQUIMIA is a Spanish company whose main activity is the design, manufacture and commercialization of firefighting foam concentrates.

Williams Fire & Hazard Control offers a full line of specialized fire response equipment for oil and gas platforms

From storage tanks and pipeline emergencies to offshore platforms and vessels at sea, Williams' response personnel and specialized equipment quickly address adverse fire emergencies.

Foam fights fire

Europe’s foremost fire fighting foam manufacturer has been developing and producing foams since the 1920s.

The leader in truck-mounted hydraulic platforms

Our mission is to provide the best and the safest solution to professionals that work at height.

If you want quality, you want Zico

Since its inception Ziamatic Corp has provided the men and women of the fire service with products designed to make their jobs safer and easier.

The independent alternative

Dafo Fomtec AB is a privately owned company with head office in Stockholm Sweden and manufacturing in Helsingborg in the south of Sweden.