The Gas Industry Safety Group brings together the principal organisations in the UK industry to promote gas safety

GISG urges customers to purchase audible carbon monoxide alarms from trusted brands

For immediate release – Thursday 20 October 2016

The Gas Industry Safety Group (GISG) is urging customers to purchase audible carbon monoxide (CO) alarms from well-known and recognised brands after a recent Which? report revealed a number of cheap and imported CO alarms to be unsafe and unreliable.

Which? recently put a number of CO detectors through rigorous lab testing based on the EU safety standard (EN 50291) for carbon monoxide alarms. The CO gas detection tests revealed that a group of cheap and imported CO alarms widely available online failed to detect the killer gas in more than a third of the tests.

In contrast, 13 CO alarms from leading brands that carry the BSI Kitemark™ (showing they meet the optimum standards for quality and reliability) passed every one of the tests.

Following pressure from the Which? investigation, Amazon and eBay have removed the defective alarms from sale. Which? has also alerted Trading Standards and The Council of Gas Detection and Environmental Monitoring (CoGDEM) regarding its findings.

Chairman of the GISG, Chris Bielby said:

“Carbon monoxide is a highly dangerous gas that has no smell, taste or colour. We urge customers to purchase high quality audible CO alarms from reputable brands and retailers that meet European Standard (EN 50291). This is essential to helping protect individuals and families from the effects of CO poisoning.”

How can you protect yourself against CO poisoning?

  • Fit a quality audible CO alarm that meets European Standard (EN 50291) and is made by a trusted brand carrying the BSI Kitemark™
  • Keep rooms well ventilated when using a heating or cooking appliance fuelled by gas, oil or soild fuels such as coal or wood, and use the appliance correctly
  • Have all appliances, flues and chimneys installed and serviced by reputable and appropriately registered engineers, for example Gas Safe Registered engineers for all gas appliances
  • Never use outdoor appliances like barbecues, camping stoves and paraffin heaters, indoors
  • Ventilate garages when running a car or petrol generator
  • Have your chimney swept at least once a year
  • Ensure your landlord provides the legal annual safety check on installed gas appliances


Notes to editors

About Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide is a gas formed during the incomplete combustion of any carbon-based or fossil fuel (e.g. gas, coal, oil, wood, charcoal etc) which happens when there is insufficient oxygen caused by poor ventilation.

About GISG

Since its formation in 2000, the Gas Industry Safety Group (GISG) has brought together the UK’s gas industry to maintain and improve safety performance.  GISG promotes gas safety by improving cooperation and coordination throughout the industry, sharing best practice, commissioning key research and providing an opportunity to address safety issues on a collaborative basis.

About Which?

Which? is known for testing household products, from washing machines to digital cameras. Making positive changes on important consumer issues is also a key part of their work. Which? exists to make individuals as powerful as the organisations they deal with in their daily lives. For more information visit:

For further information please contact:

Adrian McConnell                   


The Gas Industry Safety Group

T: 020 7706 5111
M: 07792 219649
Follow us: @GISGUK

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