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Going camping? Be Carbon Monoxide Safe!

5th April 2013

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a colourless, odourless, highly poisonous gas that can kill in minutes. Carbon Monoxide poisoning can be caused by ANY fuel that burns or smoulders.

If you're going camping over the Easter holidays follow these tips;

  • Make sure your camping light and stove are clean and properly adjusted.
  • Never take a portable barbecue – or lit charcoal – into an enclosed space like a tent or caravan.
  • Make sure exhaust gases from generators are properly vented away from occupied areas.
  • Consider buying a Carbon Monoxide alarm and taking it with you on holiday.
  • You can find fire safety advice for camping on our website here

 Watch out for the symptoms of Carbon Monoxide poisoning. These include;

  • Mild headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Drowsiness

If you think you are suffering from CO poisoning, open the windows and then get out into the fresh air immediately. If the symptoms are serious, you should go straight to your doctor or to a casualty department.

It's equally as important to be aware of Carbon Monoxide poisoning at home too. If you use natural gas, LPG, heating oil, or solid fuel for heating or cooking, you should be aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide. Badly adjusted burners, blocked flues, dirty jets and poor ventilation can all cause CO poisoning which can kill in minutes.

Follow these tips;

  • Make sure your boiler and cooker are serviced once a year by properly qualified engineer. They must be registered with BESCA (solid fuel and oil), Gas Safe (gas),HETAS Ltd (solid fuel), NAPIT (solid fuel and oil), or OFTEC (oil).
  • If you live in rented accommodation make sure your landlord gets the equipment checked every year. It’s the Law!
  • Buy a CO alarm for your family and protect them from the danger of poisoning. Older people, young mums and others who spend a lot of time in the home are especially vulnerable. It can cost under £20 and it could save their life.
  • Everyone should have their chimney swept and checked. All appliances (gas, oil, coal or wood) need servicing by a qualified engineer.

 Further information is available from the charity CO Awareness http://www.covictim.org/file3

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