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Four in five unaware of barbecue carbon monoxide danger

Brits as concerned about damaging garden plants as suffering from CO poisoning when barbecuing

With half the nation (52%) planning on barbecuing an average of five times for family and friends in 2017, Gas Safe Register is issuing a stark reminder to be aware of the symptoms of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.

Recent research has revealed that the majority (80%) of people do not identify CO poisoning as a potential danger when barbecuing, instead selecting food poisoning (67%), burns (51%), child safety (49%), garden fires (29%) and drunken accidents (27%) as the main barbecue hazards.

In fact, CO poisoning was placed only slightly ahead of concerns about damaging the garden or plants (19%) when barbecuing.

Known as ‘the silent killer’, CO gas has no colour, taste or smell and can have fatal consequences. Gas Safe Register is therefore sharing the following barbecue safety tips and urging people to keep themselves safe by learning the symptoms of CO poisoning.  

Gas Safe Register offers the following barbecue safety tips:

  • Never use a barbecue inside
  • Don’t take a smouldering or lit barbecue into a tent, caravan or cabin. Even if you’ve finished cooking, your barbecue can still give off fumes, so keep it outside
  • Always ensure you can see your lit barbecue and don’t leave it lit whilst sleeping
  • Use your barbecue 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.

Jonathan Samuel, chief executive of Gas Safe Register, said:

“Barbecuing is one of our nation’s favourite pastimes but it can also be dangerous and cause CO poisoning if not done correctly. It’s important that lit barbecues are never brought into an enclosed space and that people are aware of CO poisoning symptoms, which include breathlessness, headaches, nausea, dizziness, collapse and the loss of consciousness. By knowing these symptoms, people may be able to act quickly and reduce the severity of CO poisoning.”

The nation’s know how for cooking the best barbecue are:

  • Leave the barbecue to fully heat up before cooking (54%)
  • Marinate the meat overnight (33%)
  • Work out your cooking timings accurately (30%)
  • Let the meat rest before serving (21%)
  • Use a barbecue with different racks to help control cooking temperatures (19%)

 To keep your family safe, follow Gas Safe Register’s top tips:

  • Only employ a qualified Gas Safe registered engineer when having gas work carried out in your home. You can find a registered engineer in your area by calling Gas Safe Register on 0800 408 5500 or use the find an engineer search
  • Every registered gas engineer carries a Gas Safe ID card. Always ask to see the card and check their unique licence number with Gas Safe Register. The back of the card will also show which gas appliances they are qualified to work on.
  • If you smell gas or think there might be a gas leak, call the free 24-hour national gas emergency number immediately on 0800 111 999.
  • If you suspect that someone is an illegal fitter or are worried about gas work carried out in your home, please contact Gas Safe Register.

Gas Safe Register is the only official list of gas engineers who are registered to work safely and legally on boilers, cookers, fires and all other gas appliances.

By law all gas engineers must be on the Gas Safe Register. Trust the Triangle.