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BBQ Safety

Important tips to help keep you safe this summer.


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In recent years there have been a number of fatalities and injuries as a result of people bringing BBQ’s into enclosed spaces and being overcome by carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is a highly poisonous substance which is created when fossil fuels such as gas and solid fuels like charcoal and wood fail to combust fully due to a lack of oxygen. You can’t see it, taste it or smell it but it can kill quickly with no warning.

If you’re planning on using a BBQ, whether it’s a disposable one, gas or charcoal make sure you keep yourself safe and don’t put yourself at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Follow these top tips for BBQ safety:

  • Never take a smouldering or lit BBQ into a tent, caravan or cabin. Even if you have finished cooking your BBQ should remain outside as it will still give off fumes for some hours after use
  • Never use a BBQ inside to keep you warm
  • Never leave a lit BBQ unattended or while sleeping
  • Place your cooking area well away from your tent. Always ensure there is an adequate supply of fresh air in the area where the BBQ is being used
  • Only use your BBQ in accordance with the operating instructions
  • Remember the signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning – headaches, dizziness, breathlessness, nausea, collapse and loss of consciousness.

If you’re using a gas BBQ or gas camping equipment follow these extra tips to help you stay safe:

  • Check that the appliance is in good order, undamaged and that hoses are properly attached and undamaged. If in doubt get the hoses replaced or don’t use it
  • Make sure the gas taps are turned off before changing the gas cylinder and do it in the open air
  • Don’t over-tighten joints
  • When you have finished cooking, turn off the gas cylinder before you turn off the BBQ controls – this means any gas in the pipeline will be used up
  • Read the manufacturer’s instructions about how to check for gas escapes from hoses or pipework, e.g. brushing leak detection solution around all joints and looking for bubbles
  • Never take a gas stove, light or heater into a tent, caravan or cabin.

Take care this summer and don’t put yourself or your family at risk.

Read Roland's story

Roland Wessling lost his partner Hazel Williams in 2011 when she was overcome by carbon monoxide fumes. The couple bought their BBQ, which was cold and no longer smoking, inside their tent without realising it was emitting deadly carbon monoxide. Read Roland’s story here.

What Next?
NEWS: Gas safety officials issue urgent advice to British campers
Gas Safe Register is issuing urgent advice to the estimated 3.7 million Brits who plan to go camping this summer, following several tragic carbon monoxide deaths caused by gas and charcoal BBQ's.

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