AMONG ALL THE normal changes of stickers, upholstery and interior woodwork colour scheme, one big change that’s taking place for the 2012 model year caravans is the installation of carbon monoxide (CO) detectors in all new vans.
Carbon monoxide is a deadly toxic gas, but being colourless, odourless and tasteless, it’s impossible to detect by human senses alone. There have been cases in the last couple of years of people being poisoned by CO on campsites and the installation of such detectors in touring vehicles appears to be a sensible precaution.
CO risk in caravans
In modern caravans, the risk of CO asphyxiation from an appliance such as a fridge or heater is very unlikely as the appliances are room sealed. This means the burn of the fuel to operate the gas appliances happens outside the caravan and gases, even if the appliance malfunctions, are vented externally. However, recent deaths from CO poisoning have happened in tents, where fumes from barbecues have been trapped in the tent and poisoned the occupants while they slept. With the risk of the gas been drawn through vents and windows of a tourer, installing an alarm seems a good idea for all caravanners, not just those who buy a new van.
Carbon Monoxide awareness
Stacey Rodgers tragically lost her 10-year-old son Dominic in 2006 and since then has been campaigning as one of the CO Angels - a group she founded to raise awareness of carbon monoxide poisoning. Dominic died as a result of carbon monoxide leaking into his home from next door.
Stacey says: “Holiday makers really need to be aware that carbon monoxide is a deadly gas. Whether at home, in a hotel, touring caravan, motorhome or tent, the need for a CO alarm is paramount - it is designed to save lives. This regulation only reinforces the dangers which the deadly gas poses, so consumers must take note and invest in an alarm now to protect themselves and their families.”
Install a caravan CO detector
Installing a CO alarm in your caravan isn’t even expensive. The Fire Angel CO-9B battery powered alarm costs under £20 and is manufactured to meet the requirements of the new regulations. Installing is a work of minutes and because it is battery powered, required no wiring or technical competence.
So for the sake of twenty quid and twenty minutes with a screwdriver installing it, you can actively protect you and your family from a horrific CO accident. So the question is, what are you waiting for?