Over 3.8 million RV's manufactured between 1985 and 2005 are without Carbon Monoxide detectors, LP alarms or both. Millions more have detectors/alarms that are outdated or obsolete. Installing and maintaining LP and Carbon Monoxide detectors, as well as smoke alarms, is one of the easiest and most cost efficient ways to keep you and your family safe on the road.
Carbon Monoxide is a normal by-product of engine exhaust. It can leak into your RV as a result of an improperly burning gas furnace or water heater, space heaters, gas stoves, generator exhaust or outside elements such as grills, camp fires or other RVs. Some symptoms of low to moderate Carbon Dioxide poisoning are: headache, fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea and dizziness. Prolonged exposure can result in death.
In many RVs the appliances (water heater and other kitchen appliances) run off propane. A leak can come from a defect in said appliance or a loose connection in the regulator. Propane is a highly flammable gas and can be ignited by a simple spark. Since propane is odorless, colorless and tasteless ethyl mercaptan has been added to produce a rotten egg smell. However, it is not wise to rely solely on smell alone. A 2002 Journal of American Medical Association study stated that 17.3 percent of adults between the ages of 60 and 69 had a sever problem recognizing odors such as LP gas.
So now we know the dangers of a faulty system, but how do we know when a alarm/detector needs to be changed? All smoke alarms, Carbon Monoxide and LP detectors have expiration dates. Smoke alarms are good for 10 years, where as LP and CO detectors are only good for about 5. The expiration date should be located on the alarm/detector, and are all equipped with test buttons. Test your alarms weekly and every time your RV is taken out of storage, if it does not test well then change out the alarm/detector.
When replacing safety alarms remember to use only those that are listed for Recreational Vehicle Use. We have them for sale here in our shop. You can either install them yourself or have one of our qualified technicians replace it for you.