The Approved Workshop Scheme (AWS) has announced that it will now annually test carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in caravans and motorhomes.

The National Caravan Council (NCC) has required all newly-manufactured caravans and motorhomes to be fitted with a CO alarm since 2010. However, independent reports have shown significant failure rates with alarms even just a few years old.

Sensors may, for example, be sensitive to extremes of temperatures to which caravans and motorhomes can be vulnerable. NCC tests have apparently revealed that alarm sensors can fail completely when exposed to low temperatures, although the test button indicates that they are working normally. This is because pressing the test button on the CO alarm only tests the battery circuit and not the sensor itself.

John Stones, Founder and Managing Director of Gas Safe Europe, said: “We are delighted that the AWS is now mandating the gas testing of CO alarms to ensure that the CO alarms in leisure vehicles are functioning properly.”