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Planning a family BBQ this summer? Well it seems that 4 in 5 of us Brits are unaware of the Carbon Monoxide risks when having a BBQ!

Becci Harris

by Becci Harris

Posted in News on Jul 11, 2017

According to the Gas Safe Register, more than half of the nation will be barbecuing an average of five times for family and friends this summer! 

Yet a recent survey revealed that around 80% of people do not understand the danger of CO poisoning when barbecuing!  It seems that most of us worry about food poisoning, burns, child safety, garden fires and drunken accidents as hazards, yet the majority of us do not identify CO poisoning as a potential danger.  In was actually discovered that Britons are as concerned about damaging the garden or plants when barbecuing, as they are about being exposed to CO gas.

Co gas has no colour, taste or smell, which means the consequences can be fatal and this is why it is known as the ‘silent killer’.

Following these safety tips from the Gas Safe Register, when you have a barbecue, can help to keep you and your family safe from the dangers of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning:

  • Always use your barbecue in accordance with the operating instructions
  • NEVER use a barbecue indoors
  • NEVER take a smouldering or lit barbecue into a caravan, tent or even a cabin. Even when you have finished with the barbecue, it can still give off fumes which can be deadly when leaked in confined spaces so always keep it outside
  • Don’t leave you barbecue lit whilst you are sleeping
  • Be aware of the signs and symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning which are nausea, headaches, breathlessness, dizziness, collapse, loss of consciousness.

Jonathan Samuel, chief executive of Gas Safe Register, which compiled the survey of 2,000 people, said: 'Many people are not aware that barbecues emit dangerous carbon monoxide if not used correctly.

'It may seem like a good idea at the time to bring a barbecue inside to let food cool down or to keep warm, but this can result in CO poisoning due to lack of ventilation.

'By knowing the symptoms, people may be able to act quickly and reduce the severity of CO poisoning.'

More than 200 people go to hospital in the UK each year with suspected Carbon Monoxide Poisoning, which leads to around 50 deaths.

The side effects of exposure to low levels of carbon monoxide are not always obvious and can be similar to those of flu and food poisoning. Therefore, knowing the dangers and the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning could potentially save your life and the lives of others.

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Carbon Monoxide Poisoning can occur not just from smouldering bbq's, but also from unsafe gas appliances such as gas cookers, gas fires, chimney flues, and boilers. You should have your gas appliances and boilers checked annually to keep them safe. Contact Harris Heating today on 0113 250 53 75 for more information on our annual gas checks and boiler service plans.