Gas safety in leisure accommodation vehicles

What are the standards and guidance that apply to gas safety in different kinds of mobile and holiday park accommodation? Gas Safe Register Technical Officer Graham Kidd sets out the details.

This article was published in full in Registered Gas Engineer’s May issue.

In gas safety terms, leisure accommodation vehicles (LAVs) and residential park homes (RPHs) cover tourers, motorcaravans, motorhomes, and caravan holiday homes. Different standards apply for construction and gas safety, and each LAV or RPH should contain a data badge providing details of the year of manufacture and the standard to which it was built. This can be cross-referenced with the appropriate gas standards that were in force at the time.


Tourers are those seen on the road being towed by another vehicle. They are built to BS EN 1645 and must meet the requirements for the construction and use of road vehicles.

Motor caravans

Motor caravans incorporate living accommodation similar to that of a touring caravan on a motor vehicle base and are therefore designed specifically fo touring. They are built to BS EN 1646 and must meet the requirements for the construction and use of road vehicles.

Caravan holiday homes

Caravan holiday homes are designed specifically for holiday accommodation, typically on a licensed caravan holiday park. Because of their size and weight, they are delivered to the park by transporters. Their wheels are solely to manoeuvre them on to site. They are built to BS EN 1647, and LPG systems are covered by BS EN 1949, with safety ventilation under BS EN 721.

Residential park homes

Park homes are designed for permanent residential accommodation. They look similar to static caravans, and can have pitched, tiled roofs and look similar to a brick-built bungalow. Because of their size and weight, they can only be delivered by transporters, sometimes in two halves that are then bolted and secured together in situ. They are built to BS 3632.

Gas installations are covered by BS 6891 and BS 5440-1 and the flues and terminals by BS 715 (partially replaced by BS EN 1856-1:2003 & BS EN 18562:2004).

Types of gas used

Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)

The majority of appliances in caravans are fuelled by LPG, the generic term for commercial butane and commercial propane. Butane is not suitable for installations that are subject to low external temperatures and is mainly used in tourers and motor caravans. There is no standardised colour for butane cylinders – blue, yellow/ochre and white are common.

Propane is ideal for outside storage and is used to supply residential park homes and caravan holiday homes. Although often supplied in red cylinders, these can also come in orange or other less common colours. Patio gas propane is an increasing market and comes in green cylinders.

Bulk storage vessels at caravan parks are usually white or green. Gas canisters are used for portable appliance such as single burner cookers or gas lamps. They can come in a variety of colours and are readily available in many hardware stores.

On caravan sites, the gas may be supplied to the caravan via a gas network fed by an LPG bulk storage system. This may give the dutyholder for the site additional gas supplier duties.

Note: Further guidance can be found in the GSIUR.

Natural gas

In some caravan sites, natural gas is supplied from the gas conveyor’s local distribution network. Often there is a bulk supply meter at the site boundary, from which the gas is conveyed around the site to each caravan. The pipes on the site could be owned by the gas conveyor or by the park operator. In certain circumstances, the pipes on the site may be part of a network as defined in the Gas Safety (Management) Regulations 1996 (GSMR) and subject to GSMR, including safety case requirements. Guidance on GSMR is contained in A guide to the Gas Safety (Management Regulations 1996 – L80.

The end of the network is at the first emergency control valve (ECV), as defined by the GSIUR, and defines the cut-off point between GSMR and GSIUR. If the pipes are on the network and owned by the upstream gas conveyor, then they should be covered by their safety case. If the park operator owns the pipes, then they may be required to produce a GSMR safety case.

Who can work on what?

Not all gas work falls under the scope of the GSIUR. Touring caravans and self-propelled vehicles are out of the scope of the GSIUR unless they are hired to members of the public.

The British Standard that applies to such vehicles is BS EN 1949:2001 + A1:2013.

There is an overarching requirement to be competent: any person who undertakes work on a LAV such as, but not limited to a touring/motor caravan, must ensure they are competent to do so. Guidance on defining competence is given in GSIUR. If the vehicle is intended to be hired out, then the person/business undertaking gas work must hold the appropriate qualification and be Gas Safe registered.

Things to consider

Gas cylinders

  • Consider installing a gas detection system
  • When changing cylinders, ensure that all cylinder valves or gas taps are turned off before disconnecting – and only change a cylinder in the open air
  • Don’t over-tighten joints
  • Don’t throw away used cylinders; return them to the supplier. Check with Liquid Gas UK or the nearest stockist for more information
  • LPG cylinders should be secure and stable and should be stored and used in a ventilated area.


  • When connecting a hose directly to a cylinder, or if the outlet pressure of the regulator exceeds 50mbar, use a hose marked ‘High Pressure LPG’
  • Ensure the length of the hose is as short as possible, and not so long that it can’t be pulled tight
  • Replace any hose that’s damaged or showing signs of wear, stiffness, or cracking
  • Keep hoses clear of hot surfaces
  • Hoses should only be used for their intended use: check their markings for the correct application
  • Ensure the correct clips are used and do not damage the hose when tightened or crimped
  • There’s more guidance on gas hoses in Technical Bulletins 011 and 146.


  • Ensure that ventilation is kept clear to ensure good air flow
  • Should be fitted on all sides if the caravan has skirting, ensuring that there is a crossflow of air beneath the caravan that will provide goo ventilation to avoid any possible accumulation of gas
  • The cylinder compartment must be permanently ventilated to the exterior of the vehicle.


  • Where flue pipes pass through the structure of a caravan, they should be adequately insulated.
  • All open-flued water heater must have an overall flue length of at least 600mm. At least 250mm of this length must be external to the caravan.
  • When using flued and flueless appliances, adequate ventilation is essential
  • Open-flued water heaters must not be installed in the bathroom/shower room.
  • Only room-sealed flued appliances should be used in bathrooms/shower room.

Gas safety

  • Ensure the gas is turned off before travelling
  • All flammable gas cylinders must be carried upright at all times
  • LPG gases are heavier than air, so will form a ‘puddle’ on the ground if there is an escape. Floor vents must be kept clear and unobscured.


There are lots of consumer tips on the safety of LPG cylinders and hoses on Gas Safe Register’s website at:


  • BS EN 1645 -1:2018 – Leisure accommodation vehicles. Caravans. Habitation requirements relating to health and safety
  • BS EN 1646-1: 2018 – Leisure accommodation vehicles. Motor caravans. Habitation requirements relating to health and safety
  • BS EN 1647: 2018 – Leisure accommodation vehicles. Caravan holiday homes. Habitation requirements relating to health and safety
  • BS EN 1949:2011+A1:2013 – Specification for the installation of LPG systems for habitation purposes in leisure accommodation vehicles and accommodation purposes in other vehicles
  • BS EN 721:2019 – Leisure accommodation vehicles. Safety ventilation requirements
  • BS 3632:2015 – Residential park homes. Specification
  • BS 6891:2015+A1:2019 – Specification for the installation and maintenance of low pressure gas installation pipework of up to 35 mm (R114) on premises
  • BS 5440-1:2008 – Flueing and ventilation for gas appliances of rated input not exceeding 70 kW net (1st, 2nd and 3rd family gases). Specification for installation of gas appliances to chimneys and for maintenance of chimneys
  • BS 715 – BS 715:2005 – Specification for metal flue boxes for gas-fired appliances not exceeding 20kW.


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