We all look forward to our holidays but recent high profile court cases have brought attention once again to tragic events caused by carbon monoxide poisoning both at home and abroad so please read on for our tips to help you guard against possible incidents.
When staying in holiday accommodation its not always possible to know how often gas appliances have been safety checked and serviced, or even if they’ve been installed by qualified engineers. Dodgy gas appliances however aren’t the only way to have problems with carbon monoxide poisoning and its worrying to realise the drastic effects a simple BBQ can have.
New research released reveals that just over half (53%) of Britons questioned in a survey did not know that leaving a smoking charcoal BBQ in an enclosed space like a tent or room can lead to CO poisoning. More than one in three were also unaware that using a portable gas camping stove indoors could result in poisoning, while nearly a quarter of those surveyed did not realise the potential for CO to build up in a poorly-ventilated area with gas appliances, such as inside a caravan.
In the UK landlords must, by law have appliances safety checked each year and keep an up to date safety record. A good start but things aren’t quite so straight forward when camping or caravanning and especially when holidaying abroad where completely different regulations may be in force.
So what can you do to look after yourself and family while on your next break?
- Check if the gas appliances in your accommodation have been safety checked and serviced.
- Appliances in holiday accommodation may be different to those you’re used to at home, if you’re not sure how they work, read the instructions or ask your holiday rep for help.
- Gas cookers and BBQ’s should not be used for heating and require adequate ventilation when in use.
- Recognise the signs of potentially hazardous gas appliances. Black marks around gas appliances, lazy yellow or orange flames instead of crisp blue flames and too much condensation are all signs that gas applications aren’t working properly.
- Carbon dioxide alarms are quite rare overseas. Consider taking one away with you, though make sure it is suitable for travel.
- Don’t mistake CO poisoning with other holiday sicknesses, such as food poisoning, dehydration or a hangover. The six main symptoms are: Headache, dizziness, nausea, breathlessness, collapse and loss of conciousness.
There’s also nothing better than a good old dose of common sense, if something doesn’t look right, query it with your holiday rep and have them look into the situation.
If you smell gas or think there might be a leak Turn off the gas at the meter, if this isn’t possible still make sure to:
- Extinguish naked flames
- Open windows
- Leave the area
- Inform the owner or holiday rep
- Seek medical advice if you or a member of your family feel unwell.
Holidays should be a time for you and your family to relax and have a great time so why not just spend a few minutes checking out your accommodation before pouring that first glass of chilled wine. Leave the BBQ outside where its supposed to be, remember, its a great heat sauce for your sausages not you!
The sunshine’s beckoning, so go have a great time and make sure the memories you bring back are for all the right reasons.