1. ITV Report

Campers warned of carbon monoxide poisoning

Barbecues should never be kept in tents or confined areas Photo: PA

A fresh appeal is being made to campers about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.

A large number of tents and caravans are expected to visit campsites this summer. Music festivals, such as Kendal Calling, have seen an increased number of campers.

Who is at risk?:

  • Anyone using a gas or charcoal barbecue in a confined area, such as a tent or caravan

Carbon monoxide is especially dangerous as it is an odourless and colourless gas. It can quickly be fatal to those who breathe it in, in high concentrations.

What are the symptoms?:

  • Similar to flu or food poisoning
  • Headaches
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Tiredness and confusion
  • Stomach pain
  • Shortness of breath and difficulty breathing
  • Unlike the flu, carbon monoxide does not cause a high temperature/fever
Barbecues should never be kept in tents or confined areas Credit: PA

What can you do? Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service advise you to:

  • Never take a barbecue into a tent, caravan or motorhome. A warm, smouldering barbecue will give off poisonous carbon monoxide.
  • Use a portable carbon monoxide detector in your tent.
  • Do not cook with a stove inside your tent or awning, unless there is an area specifically designed for this purpose and you are sure there is adequate ventilation.
  • Never run a gas, petrol or diesel-powered generator inside a tent.
  • Never use a fuel-burning appliance to heat your tent.
  • Never place a lit barbecue near the sleeping area outside your tent.

'Carbon monoxide is a silent killer, but just taking a few simple precautions to minimise the dangers can keep you and your friends and family safe.

I'd urge anybody going camping or caravaning this summer to make sure they protect themselves from carbon monoxide so they remember their time away for all the right reasons.'

– Mark Clement, Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service's Safer Communities Manager

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