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Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

The dangers associated with carbon monoxide poisoning over the past years have become more publicised, as not only can it cause severe illnesses but also fatalities. Most of us have detectors in our homes but do you have one in your motorhome? The danger with carbon monoxide is that it is completely odourless which means that you will not realise you are being poisoned until potentially it’s too late. According to the NHS website, the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are:

  • headaches
  • dizziness
  • nausea (feeling sick) and vomiting
  • tiredness and confusion
  • stomach pain
  • shortness of breath and difficulty breathing

In an Emergency

If you are in your motorhome or caravan and your carbon monoxide alarm goes off or you feel unwell, there are a number of steps you will need to take;

  1. Open all windows and doors and leave the vehicle immediately
  2. If you are feeling unwell call 999 straight away
  3. Make sure all gas appliances have been turned off
  4. Call one of the following advice lines:
  • Gas Emergency Service – 0800 111 999
  • Solid Fuel Advice Line – 0845 601 4406
  • Oil (OFTEC) – 0845 658 5080

Do not use any of your appliances until you have had them checked out by a qualified engineer.

Carbon Monoxide Alarms

It is very simple to stay safe in your motorhome, campervan or caravan all you have to do is install a carbon monoxide alarm, which will alert you as soon as it detects carbon monoxide. Some motorhome owners choose to take their carbon monoxide alarms from home with them when they go away, however alarms a really cheap (around £20) we would strongly suggest investing in one that is a permanent fixture in your motorhome. There are numerous carbon monoxide alarms to choose from, but for your own protection make sure you choose one that has a EN 50291 mark – also written as BSEN 50291 or shown with the CE mark.

Maintaining Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Installing a carbon monoxide detector in your caravan, motorhome or campervan is not the end of it. You have to keep them in working order. As with fire alarms, carbon monoxide alarms need to be tested on a regular basis in order to make sure that they are working properly and that the batteries haven’t worn out.

It is also imperative that your carbon monoxide alarm is fitted in a suitable area,

Fit your alarm high-up in the same room as the potential source of carbon monoxide, around 15cm from the ceiling and at least one meter away from boilers, cookers and fires. But make sure it’s not directly above a source of heat or steam. It doesn’t need to be fixed to a wall, and a shelf is often suitable. Which? has suggestions how to install and test.
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