“ Brand: Sleepsafe / Product Type: Smoke Detector „
A few years ago we had a carbon monoxide near miss, a household problem that if not noticed would have definitely caused carbon monoxide build-up in the house. It frightened the life out of me and Mark so we took the step of buying a (hugely expensive) electric carbon monoxide detector and alarm, which gave off so many false readings that we almost bankrupted ourselves calling gas engineers out - so after a stressful month with no working carbon monoxide detector I picked up a very basic Sleepsafe detector to tide us over until we replaced our super duper alarm. And years later I'm still buying them, having been told by both a fireman and a gas safety engineer that it's as effective as a £100 detector that was being advertised as a 'True Lifesaver' at the time.
It's a very simple idea; a small square piece of plastic with a scratchy beige dot in the centre, if carbon monoxide is present in the air the dot will react with it and start darkening. Obviously there's no warning sound so you need to physically check the detectors on a regular basis, but after a while this becomes part of your routine and really it's so important that it's not something I'd forget to do anyway.
Printed around the dot is a fairly thick 'control', the plastic has been printed to match the dot so that you can see at a glance whether it's changed colour. Otherwise the rest of the detector is white with pretty loud red writing, it's not something you'd buy to embellish your home but in this instance I'd definitely go for functionality over style! Luckily I've never had to vouch for the fact that the dot changes colour well, but when a friend had a carbon monoxide leak this same detector darkened quickly to such a degree that it would have been impossible not to have noticed.
You're advised to place a Sleepsafe carbon monoxide detector near your boiler and gas fire, we had our rarely used fire taken out last year so only have the boiler to worry about - I place a detector above the boiler and another one lives in a small wall recess on the landing outside the bedrooms. Using the two prevents me from relying on a 'dud', which apparently can happen (albeit rarely), and gives me peace of mind that if one of the units did malfunction we would still be alerted to poisonous fumes inside our home.
The back of each detector has a sticky pad to enable you to attach it to the wall, over the years these have proved not to be the stickiest sticky pads known to man but when they end up pulling away from the wall I just use a spot of Blu Tack to pop it back into place and that works just as well. On the front of the detector is a space to write the date when the unit was opened, and also somewhere for you to write the number of your trusted CORGI engineer - the date bit being important as these detectors have a lifespan of four months so you need to know when the time has come to replace it. I change mine more frequently, usually every two months, but that's mainly because I'm a total worrier about carbon monoxide and want to make sure I'm as fully protected as possible.
For peace of mind I absolutely 100% recommend these Sleepsafe Carbon Monoxide Detectors, they do the job and I honestly can't see the point of buying an all-singing-all-dancing machine for standard family use - there's a place for those units that have an audible alarm obviously, but for us this much more basic detector is fine. I usually buy mine from Halfords where they're currently priced at just £1 - which in my opinion is a small price to pay to potentially save the lives of your family.
I have always taken gas safety extremely seriously, several years ago friends of the family had a birds nest blow onto their chimney in a storm leading to the build up of carbon monoxide in their home. Two of the occupants in the home were seriously ill and the third died, a tragedy which happened at a scary speed. Carbon Monoxide is produced when gas or any other fuel is burned incompletely, it is an odourless gas so can not be easily detected in the air. It is important to have all gas appliances serviced and take care with all other fuel burning devices as the tragedies with barbeques being used in tents have shown. It is also crucial to have a carbon monoxide detector to alert people if the gas is produced allowing them to get out of an unsafe environment.
The sleep safe carbon monoxide detector is one of the most basic on the market and can cost as little as £1. It is a small piece of reinforced cardboard with a circle around 1cm in diameter in the middle which contains a material which turns from white to dark if it detects carbon monoxide. The detectors need to be replaced every few months but are easy to fit by simply placing them on the wall.
I have owned these type of detectors in the past and luckily they never turned dark but they also never gave me much peace of mind. What would happen if there was some kind of problem during the night when you are sleeping? What would happen if you placed a detector in the boiler cupboard and never checked it daily and a problem emerged? The fact that the only way you could see whether there is a problem or not is by looking at this little disc means that a leak could occur and still go undetected. The detector square can be discoloured by dust or nicotine in the environment too leading to confusion when looking at it.
The only use I can see for this type of detector is in a caravan when you are cooking by placing it above the cooker or on the cupboard doors and where you would regularly catch sight of it.
I have since upgraded from these colour change detectors to a battery powered carbon monoxide alarm. It was not overly expensive; only £20 or so and will set of a loud alarm if carbon monoxide is detected. I would urge everyone else to do the same and only use the colour change ones in limited circumstances.
Let me start by telling you why I think carbon monoxide detectors are so important to everyone. About 13 years ago a friend of my husband kept feeling poorly and for about a week he had the flu and he couldn't shake it off. Everyone thought it was strange that he went on holiday for 3 weeks and felt better as soon as he got there but within a day of coming home he was ill again. 4 days after he came home from his holidays his elderly mom and his little boy who was about 6 years old died in the night and Brian,Ann and their other 2 boys were in comas in hospital. It was tragic. Before then I had never heard of carbon monoxide but I was determined to protect me and my family from such a horrible experience.
Recently I had a house safety check from a lot of firemen and one saw my old fashioned carbon monoxide detector and said that it was probably getting too old to give proper readings now. He suggested I buy a pack of Sleep Safe Carbon Monoxide Detectors and said these were the ones he used himself so I knew he was giving me good advice. He said they sold them at Halfords so I got mine from there but I think they are available in lots of other places.
The detector is not a bulky smoke alarm sized machine, it is a little square of plastic that I had to attach above my gas fire and my boiler. In the middle of the plastic is a circle of what looks and feels like sandpaper. It is this sandpaper that might save your life one day because it changes colour if there is carbon monoxide present in the air you are breathing. It will get darker at the beginning of a carbon monoxide leak and will turn black when your health is being endangered by the amount of carbon monoxide in the air.
It is very clever but you do have to make sure that no cleaning fluids get onto the detector because this can make it give a false reading and that is no good to anyone. These detectors need to be replaced every 4 months and cost £4. 99 for a pack of 2 so an annual cost of £14. 97 to keep you and your family safe.
I cannot recommend these highly enough because it is very easy for me to see at a glance what colour the sandpaper part of the detector is and if it looks like it is getting darker then I can easily compare it to the key on the packaging and check if I should be concerned or not.
I have never had mine go dark but my daughter put one above her boiler and when she checked it had turned a very dark brown. She called a CORGI gas engineer and part of her flue had crumbled so there was carbon monoxide in her house which is very frightening because she had no idea and could easily have ended up like poor Brian and Ann.
I invested in a twin pack of SLEEPSAFE carbon monoxide dectectors . I paid 5 pounds for the pack and I have one on the wall near my gas boiler . It gives me piece of mind and evey now and then I check the colour of it to make sure I have no carbon monoxide emissions . The detectors are great as carbon monoxide is a colourless , odourless gas and you never know whether it's there or not otherwise . The Dectectors change colour when there is carbon monoxide gas about , from yellow to black . Keep the dectectors away from nappies , cleaning products etc which can cause the dectector to deactivate . They also need replacing every 4 months . **** UPDATE ***** I checked my carbon monoxide dector yesterday and noted it had started to darken which was really worrying . I called the gas company and the gas man came within an hour , he said there was a problem with fumes and shut the boiler down immediately . Today the boiler man came , fixed and seviced the boiler , apparently there was something wrong with the flue . It's now in working order and he gave me 2 new Carbon Monoxide detectors , they really are worth it . I'd smelt no fumes which was the worrying thing !!!!