HC Deb 21 March 2000 vol 346 cc466-7W
Mr. Robertson

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what investigation he has carried out into the use of carbon monoxide detectors in homes; and if he will make a statement. [115028]

Mr. Meacher

[holding answer 16 March 2000]: My Department, with the Health and Safety Executive and the Department of Trade and Industry commissioned the Building Research Establishment to investigate the optimal siting of electrical carbon monoxide (CO) detectors/alarms in domestic premises. The summary report of this work entitled "Evaluation of carbon monoxide detectors in domestic premises" was published in 1999 by HSE. In partnership with some members of the gas industry we are also currently supporting further research work by BG Technology on the sensitivity and long term reliability of electrical carbon monoxide detectors.

The role of these detectors/alarms is being addressed in the HSE' s fundamental review of the health and safety regime for the installation and use of gas. Currently responses to a discussion document are being evaluated and Ministers should receive a report this Summer.

My Department's view is that carbon monoxide detectors/alarms have a role to play in reducing risks from carbon monoxide but the need to properly maintain combustion appliances is paramount.