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Charity Makes Plea for Safety with Barbecues

Published: 11th June 2012 12:51

Charity's president makes plea to all MPs to warn their constituents not to risk their lives by taking barbecue grills into tents and caravans.

Vegetable skewersLynn Griffiths, founder of the charity Carbon Monoxide Awareness, is calling for manufacturers of barbecue grills to put warning notices about the danger of carbon monoxide on them to stop the public from taking them into tents, caravan, campervan, or their homes.

The warning follows several recent tragedies in which campers have lost their lives after taking lit barbecues into tents or caravans for warmth. Carbon monoxide (CO) is difficult to detect because it is colourless and has no taste or smell. People often don't realise that they are being overcome by fumes until it is too late.

Carbon Monoxide Awareness President Lynn Griffiths said: "Nobody should ever take a barbecue in doors. To do so is courting disaster, but the public don't seem to be aware of this and sadly there have been a number of tragedies and several near misses this year. Please don't let this happen again to one of your constituents."

Exposure to the gas reduces the blood's capacity to carry oxygen, thereby causing the vital organs to fail. Early symptoms are similar to flu, but these worsen as more of the gas is breathed in and Carbon monoxide concentrations in the blood increase. Anyone who suspects that they may be suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning should turn off all appliances, go outside and seek help from a qualified healthcare professional.

Lynn held a meeting to discuss carbon monoxide safety during caravan, camping, or music festival holiday breaks last March. However the charity will be holding a much bigger meeting this June.

Lynn is keen to take the "Be Carbon Monoxide Aware Camping and Caravan Sites Register" national due to more and more incidents being reported. Lynn believes with the support of every MP, local and national press and media she can do this.

More information can be found at www.covictim.org.

General advice
  • A lit or smouldering barbecue should never be taken into a tent, caravan or campervan.
  • Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) powered appliances should be serviced by a Gas Safe registered engineer who is qualified to work with LPG.
  • Solid fuel appliances should be serviced by a solid fuel HETAS registered engineer.
  • Oil fuelled appliances should be serviced by an OFTEC registered engineer.
  • For their personal safety, holiday-makers should buy an audible carbon monoxide alarm that meets British or European Standards (EN 50291).
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