Stephen Mosley, Member of Parliament for the City of Chester joined charity Carbon Monoxide Awareness this week to launch a national campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning from barbecues.
The campaign, held in memory of 14 year old Wilmslow schoolgirl Hannah Thomas-Jones and others who lost their lives to carbon monoxide from barbecues or camping lamps, was launched at the House of Commons on Tuesday 10th July 2012.
The launch event was hosted on behalf of the charity by Weaver Vale MP Graham Evans. The campaign is a joint venture between Carbon Monoxide Awareness and Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service. It 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.
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.
Exposure to the gas reduces the blood’s capacity to carry oxygen, thereby causing the vital organs to fail. Early symptoms are similar to flu or food poisoning, but these worsen as more of the gas is breathed in and CO concentrations in the blood increase. Anyone who suspects that they may be suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning should turn off all appliances, go outside and seek help from a qualified healthcare professional.
Lynn Griffiths, President of Carbon Monoxide Awareness, said: “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 every MP to help warn their constituents about 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.”
Stephen Mosley MP commented: “Carbon monoxide is a silent killer and greater awareness of the dangers can help save many lives. I’m pleased to join with Lynn and Carbon Monoxide Awareness to support this campaign to ensure there is greater awareness in Chester and across the country.”
For more information visit www.covictim.org
- 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).