One in ten Scots over 50 'do not have carbon monoxide alarms'

Age Scotland polling showed a further 25% do not have interlinked fire and smoke alarms.

One in ten Scots over 50 ‘do not have carbon monoxide alarms’, says Age Scotland iStock

One in ten Scots over the age of 50 do not have a working carbon monoxide alarm, a charity has revealed.

Research conducted by Age Scotland showed that 10% of people over 50 do not have a working carbon monoxide alarm installed, and a further 25% do not have interlinked fire and smoke alarms.

This is despite 94% of those surveyed being aware that carbon monoxide poisoning can be deadly.

The highly poisonous gas is a silent killer, and thousands of people are harmed by it every year.

Homes with a carbon fuelled appliance, such as a gas boiler or coal fire, should have a carbon monoxide detector installed.

The charity is urging older people who fall into this category to get an alarm if they do not already have one installed, and those who already have one to test it regularly, ensure it is less than 10 years old, and remain aware of the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Age Scotland’s Taking the Temperature report, conducted in partnership with SGN, captured the views and experiences of more than 1,000 over-50s in Scotland.

It revealed that 25% of respondents had not yet been able to install interlinked fire and smoke alarms in their homes following the February 2022 national deadline.

Of those who did not have interlinked alarms installed in their homes at the time of the survey, 41% had no intention to have them installed within the next six months.

Cost was cited as the primary reason (54%) for this decision, with 27% unaware of what support was available to them for this purpose.

Age Scotland’s interim chief Executive, Michelle Supple, said: “Good home safety standards are vital, and it’s concerning to hear that so many older people in Scotland do not have a carbon monoxide alarm in their home.

“If you have a carbon-fuelled device, ensuring you have an alarm installed is a simple but vital step to take to ensure you stay safe. Carbon monoxide is a dangerous silent killer, but these alarms save lives.

“Many older homeowners have also voiced concerns over the affordability and cost of interlinked fire and smoke alarms, as well as where to access support to install them.

“With 34% of our survey respondents also unaware of current requirements regarding interlinked fire and smoke alarms, it’s clear there is still a long way to go – both in terms of awareness and uptake – to ensure all households affected by the significant change are able to meet these requirements.”