Over the past few weeks we’ve been baking under the scorching heat wave that reached 30+ degrees in many parts of the UK.
And, as the temperatures continued to increase, people across the country have been making the most of the pleasant weather, by attending festivals and hosting family gatherings, often with a barbecue as the focal point.
But, many people are unaware of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning when it comes to barbecues, and the deadly impact the poisonous gas can have when gas appliances are not used correctly.
The low down on carbon monoxide
Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas that has no smell or taste. It is heavier than air, so builds at ground level, making it especially dangerous for festival goers that sleep on, or close to, the ground.
And, it can be emitted from barbecue briquettes/coals after cooking has finished, and can pose significant risks, including death in extreme cases, if a barbecue is taken into an enclosed space like a tent.
The impact of carbon monoxide
The Gas Safety Trust, a registered charitable body that is funded by CORGI Services Ltd, conducted a survey of 4,000 people in 2014 and 2015 into how people the perceived risks with using barbecues at outdoor events, and found that they were the top method of cooking for festival goers..
In addition, the research revealed:
- Almost a quarter of people have stored a barbecue inside a tent/caravan after cooking
- One in 10 people admitted that they would take a barbecue into a tent/caravan but have not previously done so
- 20% of those surveyed took a CO alarm to a festival
BBQ safety tips for consumers
To ensure you enjoy the summer season safely, we’ve collated five top tips for using barbecues correctly.
- Never take stoves or barbecues inside a tent, caravan or cabin, even when you’ve finished cooking as it will still give off fumes for some hours after use
- Ensure barbecues have suitable ventilation so that the air you’re breathing in is clear and fresh
- Keep children away from lit barbecues, gas appliances and fires
- If you’re camping near a barbecue ensure tents are pitched a safe distance away from barbecues. Similarly, keep appliances at least 10 feet away from your house and away from carports, garages and porches, and decorative items such as hanging baskets to prevent fire risks
- Remember the signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning – headaches, dizziness, breathlessness, nausea, collapse and loss of consciousness