MPs want insurers to refuse cover if homes are not fitted with an audible carbon monoxide (CO) detector.

The bid has been launched by a group of cross-party MPs. They want insurers and mortgage companies to require all homes to have the alarms as standard before any cover or money-lending is agreed.

In a report, the MPs say they "expect" the insurance and mortgage industries to find "innovative ways" to ensure every home has one that is both audible and to British standard.

"There should be an expectation that in order to complete a mortgage or insure a property, both CO and smoke detectors should be a requirement for all homes," they argue.

According to CO Gas Safety, one group campaigning for safer measures to be enforced, insurers had been approached about the suggestion in the past but were not "interested".

The MPs have also called on ministers to impose tougher penalties, including large fines, for incompetent or illegal installation work.

There have been 247 deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning from faulty gas appliances in the UK in the last 10 years and 68 deaths from gas explosions.