Steve Wants Greater Understanding of Carbon Monoxide Dangers Ahead of the Festival Season

(July 20, 2012)

  Steve Carbon Monoxide

Labour's Steve Rotheram MP,  joined charity Carbon Monoxide Awareness this week to launch a national campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning from barbecues.

Steve explained, "The campaign, held in memory of 14 year old schoolgirl Hannah Thomas-Jones and others who have tragically lost their lives to carbon monoxide from barbecues or camping lamps, was launched at the House of Commons earlier this month.

"I'm delighted that the campaign is supported by a number of major retailers including Tesco, Morrison’s, Homebase,  B & Q and Dunelm Mill who have pledged to put up point-of-sale notices in their stores for barbecue equipment.

"It is important to remember that these products are designed solely for outdoor use and should not be used in enclosed spaces such as tents, caravans, campervans or home conservatories. Modern tents are designed as an integral structure with built-in groundsheets and carbon monoxide gases can rise to fatal levels in a matter of minutes if portable or disposable barbecues are used inside for heating purposes.  

"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.

"It is really important, as the summer holidays approach, that young people are taking this seriously. Already this year there have been a number of camping fatalities and serious injuries resulting from people taking barbecue equipment inside their tents.

“I would like everyon in Walton to understand the possible dangers of carbon monoxide in the home and when going away on holiday. We don’t want to see another death or injury from a barbecue during a music festival, Olympics or summer holidays. I am also campaigning to have carbon monoxide advice prominently displayed on the packaging of barbecue’s and tents and our politicians can be very influential in making this happen.”

Steve concluded, “Carbon monoxide is a silent killer and greater awareness of the dangers can help save many lives. 

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General advice

  • A lit or smouldering barbecue should never be taken into a tent, caravan, campervan or home.
  • 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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