You might think that carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is primarily a winter danger – but it’s just as deadly in summer too.
Not only will you continue to use gas for cooking and hot water during the summer months (as well as heating on the odd chilly night), but if you’re planning a BBQ you’ll want to be aware of the dangers of CO. Bringing a BBQ into an enclosed space could expose you to the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning – don’t put yourself or your family at risk.
Here’s some tips to help you enjoy BBQs and stay safe:
- Avoid taking a smouldering or lit BBQ into a tent, caravan or cabin. Even if you’ve finished cooking your BBQ can still give off fumes, so it’s a good idea to keep it outside.
- Never use a BBQ inside.
- Always ensure you can see your lit BBQ – don’t leave it lit whilst sleeping.
- The cooking area should be well away from your tent, cabin or caravan, and always ensure there is an adequate supply of fresh air.
- Use your BBQ in accordance with the operating instructions.
- Be aware of the signs and symptoms of CO poisoning - headaches, nausea, breathlessness, dizziness, collapse and loss of consciousness.
Using a gas BBQ or gas camping equipment? Here’s some extra advice:
- Before you go, check the appliance is in working order, and that hoses are attached and working properly. If in doubt, don’t use the appliance.
- Make sure the gas taps are turned off before changing the gas cylinder and do this in open air
- Don’t over-tighten joints
- When you’ve finished cooking, turn off the gas cylinder before the BBQ controls so any gas in the pipeline will be used up
- Consult the manufacturer’s instructions for advice on how to check for gas escapes, eg brushing leak detection solution around all joints and looking for bubbles
- Leave your gas stove, light or heater outside, with a supply of fresh air, at all times.
Find out more about using LPG equipment.
In 2011, Roland Wessling lost his partner Hazel Williams when she was overcome by carbon monoxide fumes, after the couple had brought their cold charcoal BBQ into their tent. Read more on Roland’s story here.