With the summer holidays and music festivals in full swing, Hampshire County Council’s Public Health team is raising awareness of campsite safety, particularly the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Councillor Patricia Stallard, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Health and Public Health, said: “BBQs give off carbon monoxide gas (CO), which is poisonous. It is not a problem in the open air because it is dispersed and concentrations are low, but never use BBQ’s inside tents or bring them back in afterwards. CO is heavier than air, so builds up at ground level, which is especially dangerous for those sleeping at or near to ground level.
Our bodies can deal with a small level of CO, but it takes a long time to clear it out, so repeated small exposures can accumulate. CO poisoning has claimed lives in Hampshire and elsewhere in recent years.”
Here are the County Council’s top tips for being camping and BBQ safe:
Pitch your tent a safe distance from other tents, leaving a few metres between your tent and the next. Sites often have minimum distance rules so it’s worth asking before you pitch up.
Ventilation is also important. It refreshes the air that you’re breathing. Don’t be tempted to block the vents.
Never use cookers or BBQs inside a tent. It is serious fire risk and can be hazardous to anyone inside and in the surrounding area. Some tents have cooking areas, but there will be clear instructions about the precautions you must take.
Keep children well away from BBQ’s, other gas appliances and any fires.
More information on avoiding the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO) is available from the following websites:
CO Awareness: http://www.covictim.org/ where you can download the CO APP
The Caravan and Camping Club: http://www.campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk/helpandadvice/camping-safety/carbon-monoxide-poisoning
NHS Choices: http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Healthyholidays/Pages/Campingsafety.aspx