Camping season is fast approaching and as we prepare ourselves, it’s important to be aware of the dangers involved when using gas appliances and disposable BBQs on your camping trip.
Millions of campers and caravanners have admitted to taking huge risks by bringing outdoor gas appliances inside during their camping trip. A survey of 1,000 campers and caravanners by CORGI HomePlan reveals a shocking lack of understanding of the risks involved when when using gas cookers and BBQs – that can all emit deadly carbon monoxide, even when flames are extinguished.
Peter Southcott, chief executive of CORGI HomePlan, says: “People leave their worries at home when they go on holiday and are not applying the same safety rules as they would in everyday life.”
“However, fewer than one in four people are having their camping or caravanning gas appliances serviced regularly, according to our research. This compares to the 43 per cent who have domestic appliances such as boilers and gas fires serviced annually. Every gas appliance needs regular servicing by a registered engineer to ensure it operates safely.”
“By packing a simple CO detector in your luggage and setting it up in your tent, it leaves you free to enjoy a worry-free break.”
Top tips to consider:
- Set up your BBQ in a safe area with plenty of space around it. It’s important to make sure you the area you are BBQ’ing in well-ventilated area to avoid intoxicating fumes. Campers were confused as to what ‘well ventilated’ is with nearly half (45 per cent) believing it to be a tent with an open door. The reality is that fumes can blow from lit and extinguished appliances into – rather than out of – confined spaces, allowing carbon monoxide to accumulate to toxic levels.
- Children can often get excited by fire so keep an eye on them to avoid them getting too close and warn them of the dangers before you get started.
- Keep your BBQ clear of any flammable surfaces or textures, like trees or an oven mit. If you’re using a disposable BBQ, remember to place it on a flat surface incase it takes a topple when lit.
- In the case of an emergency, keep a bucket of water or a fire extinguisher nearby so if you need to act quickly, you can extinguish any fire at speed. It’s always handy to bring a first aid kit with you on your camping trip so you can tend to any injuries swiftly. Of those surveyed, just 26 per cent admitted to bringing a fire extinguisher with them on a camping trip.
- If you’re operating a gas BBQ, make sure the gas taps are turned off before you change the cylinder. It’s important you do this in an open space outside to avoid inhalation of toxic gas.
- Never take a lit BBQ indoors, even when the fire is extinguished and you think it’s safe to do so. One in five campers (23 per cent) keep warm at night by using a smouldering or lit barbecue, kerosene heater, patio heater or gas stove as they can release poisonous carbon monoxide, which can be deadly.
- Be aware of the symptoms of CO poisoning. They are similar to flu-like symptoms such as nausea, headache, breathlessness or dizziness. Of the 1000 campers surveyed, one in 10 have first hand experience of carbon monoxide poisoning, admitting they personally know someone who has, or suspects they have, been poisoned.
- If you’re off on a camping or caravanning holiday, it may be worth investing in a carbon monoxide alarm to take with you to alarm you of any CO dangers. Almost two thirds (63 per cent) have a CO alarm in their home, in contrast to the 19 per cent who take one on a camping holiday.
For a checklist of how to keep your family safe on a camping and caravanning holiday, visit here.