Carbon monoxide (CO) can kill
Carbon monoxide (CO) is produced when a fuel such as charcoal, gas or petrol burns incompletely. This could be because an appliance isn’t working properly or might simply happen as part of its normal function. Barbecues, for example, produce carbon monoxide even when they are working well.
Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless gas and is poisonous. In high concentrations it can kill swiftly. In smaller concentrations CO poisoning can give symptoms similar to flu or food poisoning. Look out for headaches, nausea and vomiting, dizziness, drowsiness and weakness - but the best advice is to avoid any chance of being poisoned in the first place.
- Never take a barbecue into a tent, awning, caravan or motorhome. A warm, smouldering barbecue gives off plenty of poisonous carbon monoxide (CO), which can kill.
- Never use a fuel-burning appliance to heat your tent or awning. Gas and kerosene heaters – unless they are permanently fitted in a caravan or motorhome – should only be used outside. Stoves and barbecues are designed for cooking not space heating.
- Never run a gas-, petrol- or diesel-powered generator inside a caravan, motorhome, tent or awning.
- Don’t cook inside your tent or awning, unless there’s an area specifically designed for this purpose and you’re sure there is adequate ventilation. To work safely gas, meths and petrol stoves need more ventilation than your tent or awning is designed to provide and there’s also the risk of fire.
- Don’t use any other gas, charcoal or liquid fuel appliances inside a tent or awning. Gas-powered fridges and lamps, for example, also need plenty of ventilation to prevent them producing poisonous carbon monoxide. Tents and awnings aren’t generally designed with this in mind.
- Always have gas appliances in your caravan or motorhome serviced regularly.
Playmobil Does Carbon Monoxide Awareness
There is more information online on the NHS website or at Carbonmonoxidekills.org.
You can also download a leaflet about the dangers of carbon monoxide and a warning poster below.