After my school friend, Katie Haines, was tragically killed by carbon monoxide poisoning in 2010, I’ve long spread the message that having a CO alarm in your own home or taking it abroad with you on holiday, is imperative for keeping you and your loved ones safe.
Carbon Monoxide Safety First!
But according to research from CORGI HomePlan, although more than half of British homeowners now have a carbon monoxide detector in their home, just 13% Brits are applying the same safety rules when they go camping. Without a detector, they will have no idea that carbon monoxide may be seeping from heaters, cookers and barbecues. This colourless, odourless gas is a silent killer.
That’s why they are urging campers to make a carbon monoxide detector an essential component of their camping safety kit and camping equipment list, along with a fire extinguisher, emergency lighting and first aid kit. Whether you are camping or caravanning this summer, here are their tips to keep you and your family safe on your camping or caravanning holiday.
Vital CO Safety: Tent Camping Tips For Beginners
1. Tent camping tips number one – don’t use a barbecue inside your tent, awning, caravan or motorhome. The smouldering coals of a barbecue release poisonous carbon monoxide (CO), which can kill.
2. Remember – barbecues give off carbon monoxide during use, and may continue to do so for some while after use.
Do not move a barbecue into a confined space until it is extinguished and has cooled down and NEVER use a lit or extinguished (but still warm) barbecue as a source of heating in a tent or awning.
3. It is not safe to cook inside your tent or awning as there may be inadequate ventilation and there’s also the risk of fire.
4. Always ensure there is adequate ventilation when using your caravan or motorhome cooker.
5. Always check there are no obstructions covering ventilators.
6. Never use a gas, petrol or diesel-powered generator inside a caravan, motorhome, tent or awning.
7. Never use fuel-burning appliances such as refrigerator, gas-powered heaters or lamps inside a tent or awning.
8. It is vitally important to have gas appliances serviced and tested annually.
9. A carbon monoxide (CO) alarm is a good idea. Choose a ‘Type B’ alarm that complies with the BS EN 50291 standard, and install it 1-3m (measured horizontally) from any potential source of carbon monoxide, but not directly above a source of heat or steam.
* This is a collaborative post with Corgi HomePlan to raise awareness of CO Safety