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Mayo MEP warns of dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning from disposable barbecues

Jul 3 2012 Posted by Laura Canning

Barbecues still emit carbon monoxide even when the flames are outA Mayo MEP has issued a warning for campers to be aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning from barbecues.

Jim Higgins said: ‘As we enter camping/festival season, campers need to be aware of the very real danger of CO poisoning from their disposable barbecue. Unfortunately barbecues continue to produce CO long after the flames have gone out. This fact is little known, leading many consumers to believe it is safe to bring them indoors.

‘I feel strongly that manufacturers and retailers producing and selling camping and barbecue equipment, registered campsites and caravan sites should all promote the dangers of carbon monoxide and the use of CO alarms.

‘I have contacted the National Standards Authority of Ireland to recommend that the revision of part one of the EN1860 standard on solid fuels should include a requirement for a prominent warning about the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning on disposable barbecues.

‘The current warning, “Do not use indoors” is not sufficient as it fails to mention the connection between using these products indoors (or in poorly ventilated areas) and the risk of CO poisoning. This risk is possibly overlooked by the consumer who is likely to think only of fire risks.’

In May, 14 year old Hannah Thomas-Jones died from carbon monoxide poisoning on a campsite in Shropshire. Hannah, her mother, stepfather and brother were poisoned after the family left a disposable barbecue in the porch of their tent to keep them warm when temperatures fell to around 2C.

Last year, 34 year old Tracy Screen died in similar circumstances on a campsite in Wales. She was camping with her husband and their two sons when she was overcome by the fumes of a disposable barbecue brought into the tent at night for warmth.