Carbon monoxide safety in your tent
Carbon monoxide is a silent killer at home and on the campsite.
In the home, poorly serviced and malfunctioning gas boilers and gas cookers can produce fatal levels of poisonous gas.
But you might not be aware that carbon monoxide is a danger when you're camping in a tent, too. Several people have lost their lives in recent years because they used barbecues and gas cookers inside their tent in an attempt to keep warm.
Burning fossil fuels like charcoal, gas and petrol will quickly produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide in enclosed places – and because it is colourless and odourless you may not be aware of a problem until it is too late, especially if you’re asleep.
Carbon monoxide poisoning can cause headaches, nausea, dizziness and drowsiness and can quickly kill in high concentrations. Look out for the danger signs and follow our safety advice:
NEVER take a smouldering barbecue into a tent. Even a cooling barbecue gives off enough poisonous CO to be fatal
NEVER use a fuel-burning device to heat your tent. Gas heaters should only be used outdoors – if you think you’ll need to heat your tent, get an electric hook-up
NEVER run a generator inside a tent or allow the fumes to blow inside
DON’T cook inside your tent, unless there is plenty of ventilation
DON’T rely on a carbon monoxide detector to keep you safe in a tent – they should only be use as a back-up
BE AWARE of the symptoms of CO poisoning. Headaches, dizziness, drowsiness, nausea and vomiting
Seek medical advice as soon as possible if you think there might be a problem.