Carbon monoxide continues to endanger British holidaymakers
New research, carried out by Gas Safe Register, found that many Brits do not understand the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO) on holiday. More than one in two Britons (53 per cent) do not recognise that a smoking charcoal barbeque in a tent, caravan, motor home or room can result in CO poisoning. More than one in three (37 per cent) do not know that using a portable camping stove inside can result in poisoning and nearly one in five (19 per cent) people do not realise CO can build up in a poorly ventilated space with working gas appliances, such as a caravan.
Should Britain suffer a cold spell this summer the threat of CO poisoning could be greater. Last year the cold weather led to the tragic deaths of Hannah Thomas, 14, in May 2012 and Isabelle Harris, six, in April 2012 after their respective families brought a barbeque inside the tent to keep the family warm.
Carbon monoxide is a highly dangerous and poisonous gas that is produced by the incomplete burning of gas, liquid gas, oil, coal and wood. You cannot see it, smell it or taste it, but it can kill quickly with no warning.
If you’re planning a trip away follow Gas Safe Register and APPCOG’s advice:
- Never use a smouldering or lit barbeque (charcoal or gas), gas stove, light or heater in a tent, caravan, room or cabin, or under an awning unless it is a permanent fixture that has been installed and maintained correctly. Even if you have finished cooking, your barbeque will still give off fumes for some hours after use.
- Remember the six main signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning and don’t confuse it with food poisoning or another holiday related illness – headaches, dizziness, breathlessness, nausea, collapse and loss of consciousness. If concerned, seek medical advice.
- If using a gas appliance, check that it is in good order, undamaged and, where present, that hoses are properly attached and undamaged. If in doubt, get the hoses replaced or do not use it. Make sure the gas taps or cylinder valve are turned off before changing the gas cylinder and only do this in the open air. Do not over-tighten joints.
- Ask if the gas appliances in your accommodation have been safety checked and serviced. In the UK, the owner must do this by law.
- Recognise the signs of dodgy gas appliances. Black marks or stains around the appliance, yellow lazy flames instead of crisp blue flames, and too much condensation are all signs gas appliances aren’t working properly.
For more information on CO safety on holiday watch the video below & Contact Samsian Ltd on 01732 885882 if you need further advice.