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UKLPG Issues Advice on the Dangers of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

With estimates suggesting that around 29 million people are planning on taking a holiday or short break in the UK this year, UKLPG, the UKs trade body for the LP Gas industry, is issuing advice on avoiding the dangers of Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning if outdoor equipment is taken inside any poorly ventilated areas.

Over the last two years, according to the Gas Safe Register around 40 people in Britain have been killed or injured over the last two years from CO poisoning. A major cause has been bringing charcoal BBQs inside tents and faulty gas equipment, but there is also a need to be vigilant with portable gas appliances used in camping and caravanning such as gas lamps and gas cookers.

New research, carried out by Gas Safe Register, has found that many people do not understand the dangers of CO on holiday. In fact, over 50 per cent of people asked did not realise that a smoking charcoal barbeque in a tent, caravan, motor home or room can result in CO poisoning. More than one in three do not know that using a portable gas camping stove inside can result in poisoning and over 20 per cent do not realise CO can build up in a poorly ventilated space with working gas appliances in it, such as a caravan.

Rob Shuttleworth, chief executive of UKLPG, said: "As LP Gas is a leading fuel in the camping and leisure markets, UKLPG, has been working closely with the Gas Safe Register as well as the wider industry, to ensure that the potential dangers of CO when camping are highlighted and that the tragic deaths that do occur each year are avoided.

"It is great fun to cook outdoors, especially when the weather is good, but holiday makers need to be aware that they should not take these appliances indoors, even if the weather takes a turn for the worse.

"Ventilation is vital and in small enclosed spaces such as tents and caravans the gas can build up very quickly to fatal levels. We want to remind people of how to avoid the dangers as they prepare to go on camping or caravanning holidays this year."

Here are UKLPG's tips on how to stay safe:

  • Use LP Gas stoves, lights or heaters OUTDOORS ONLY. Tents and awnings are not ‘outdoors' and, surprisingly, are not well ventilated.
  • Don't use LP Gas appliances near flammable materials, including fabrics and long grass.
  • Do use appliances in accordance with the instructions.
  • Do keep LP Gas cylinders and cartridges outside tents. Always follow the supplier's instructions.
  • Do change cylinders and cartridges outside away from any source of ignition, never in a tent. Do follow the supplier's instructions. Don't smoke when changing cylinders and cartridges.
  • Do check that the appliance is in good order, undamaged and that hoses are properly attached and undamaged. If in doubt, don't use it.
  • Do know where you are, what the emergency arrangements are on camping sites and how to call for help.

"Many thousands of people use portable gas appliances safely each year and as we look forward to a summer, we want to ensure that everyone remains vigilant and avoids CO poisoning. By following these simple rules, holiday makers can make sure that they avoid the risks and stay safe," added Shuttleworth.