Caravan ruling boosts CO alarm petition
A petition for cabin boats using UK inland waterways to have a working carbon monoxide detector fitted could be bolstered by a National Caravan Council ruling to make annually testing CO alarms using a calibrated a test gas kit mandatory.
Currently the Boat Safety Scheme does not mandate the installation and testing of CO alarms in private boats and does not require their testing as part of the Boat Safety Scheme examination but aims to make this mandatory on all private boats in the future.
“We are delighted that the NCC is now mandating the gas testing of CO alarms to ensure that the CO alarms in leisure vehicles are functioning properly and hope that other organisations and regulatory groups adopt this soon to prevent any more fatalities,” stated John Stones, founder and MD of Gas Safe Europe, which manufactures Detectagas that enables users to test CO alarms..
Under the new NCC rule, a calibrated CO test gas kit must be used to ascertain whether the sensor is working as pushing the test button on the alarm only indicates the battery, buzzer and circuit is still working.
Independent reports received recently by the NCC have shown significant failure rates with alarms only a few years old. Sensors may, for example, be sensitive to extremes of temperatures to which boats and yachts can be vulnerable.
NCC tests have revealed alarm sensors can fail completely when exposed to low temperatures – and sensors can also become blocked through things including dust, food cooking and cigarette fumes.
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