Carbon monoxide alarms: should they be provided in all new dwellings?

Stephanie Power (Chelmsford Borough Council, Chelmsford, UK)
Peter Wynn (Department of the Built Environment, Anglia Ruskin University, Chelmsford, UK)

Structural Survey

ISSN: 0263-080X

Publication date: 8 November 2011



The purpose of this paper is to establish whether the guidance on the application of the UK Building Regulations in Approved Document J should have gone further by expecting that CO alarms should be provided in all new dwellings, irrespective of their heating source.


An attitudinal survey, using e‐mail questionnaire, was issued to selected professionals following review of current guidance.


All types of combustion appliance, fuelled by all fuel sources, are a potential risk of CO poisoning in both new and existing dwellings.

Research limitations/implications

The authors concentrate on the guidance given in the Approved Document only, not the reasons as to why the requirement was included in the Building Regulations for the first time.

Practical implications

It is recommended that the guidance in the Approved Document should be revised to include the provision of CO alarms in all new dwellings, irrespective of their heating source.

Social implications

The paper discusses an issue of potential public safety.


The paper challenges the extent of recent changes to Building Regulations Approved Document J.



Power, S. and Wynn, P. (2011), "Carbon monoxide alarms: should they be provided in all new dwellings?", Structural Survey, Vol. 29 No. 5, pp. 422-435.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below

You may be able to access this content by logging in via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.
If you think you should have access to this content, click the button to contact our support team.