Camping & Caravanning -Know the dangers
The British public love the chance to get outdoors on their holidays. However, when hitching up our caravan or packing our camping gear, we often forget about carbon monoxide safety.
Carbon monoxide is a deadly gas created when fuel doesn’t burn properly. Undetectable by smell, sight or taste it can quickly spread in a confined area, such as a tent or caravan.
Research by CORGI HomePlan, surveying 2,000 homeowners in June 2015 (click here for full data
), revealed that families are unknowingly taking risks with their lives. British families are exposing themselves to CO leaking from gas cookers, BBQs and heaters used on holiday. In our survey 45% of people admit to cooking in their tent or awning. One in five have used a fuel burning appliance to heat their tent. A staggering 17% of people have brought a charcoal or gas BBQ inside the tent.
Only 13 per cent of people have ever had their camping and caravanning gas appliances serviced despite owning these items for more than four years, on average. This compares with 54 per cent of people who have their domestic gas appliances serviced annually. Even this number is low, as every gas appliance needs regular servicing to ensure it is operating safely.
The roll call of recent tragedies involving carbon monoxide in holiday resorts makes horrific reading.
- In January 2015, retired couple were found dead in their static caravan at a holiday park in Northern Ireland after suffering carbon monoxide poisoning.
- During Summer 2015 in Devon a 20 year-old woman died from CO poisoning while camping in Devon after a stove was left burning inside her tent.
- Back in May 2012 a 14-year-old girl died at a campsite in Bucknell, Shropshire, when a portable barbecue was placed in her tent to keep her warm.
- The same year, 2012 a six-year-old girl from Gosport died in similar circumstances.
Invest in a detector
Knowing the dangers of carbon monoxide on holiday is your first line of defence. However, a carbon monoxide detector can potentially avoid disaster. They are relatively cheap and work as an early warning system similar to a smoke detector. They work all around the home and can be easily taken with you on camping trips or caravan holidays
That’s why we are we are campaigning to make a carbon monoxide detector an essential component of camping safety kit. It belongs along with a fire extinguisher, emergency lighting and first aid kit.
For more information about how to stay safe on your holidays check out our checklist of top tips here.