Like many people this Bank Holiday weekend, a family of five decided to a have a break away by camping in Cornwall.
Whilst cooking their breakfast on a portable grill, it began to rain and they moved it inside their tent. However, they soon felt unwell and called the emergency services.
A Cornwall Fire and Rescue spokesman said: “After a relatively short time, two of the occupants became unwell, prompting the call to the ambulance service.”
“In total, a family of five people were conveyed to hospital by ambulance to be checked for the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning.”
Hopefully, the whole family fully recover soon. But families succumbing to the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning on camping holidays is all too common.
It’s a misconception that just leaving the tent doors open will provide enough ventilation alone. However, what actually happens is that it fills the tent with poisonous gas.
And as a result, that means everyone in the tent is breathing it in without knowing. Carbon monoxide has no taste, smell and cannot be seen, which makes it virtually impossible to detect without a CO alarm.
It is recommended that you take a CO alarm to keep with you in tents and caravans. It will then warn you before it reaches dangerously high levels.
In order to prevent such incidents, you should always cook and light any fires well away from tents and caravans. Not only will it reduce the likelihood of CO poisoning, but of fires also.
And even after use, you must keep these well away from tents. A barbecue is still a risk for hours after you’ve stopped cooking, so resist the urge to take it in for safe keeping.
Should it rain when you’re cooking breakfast, lunch or dinner, then do it under an umbrella. After all, it’s part of the experience of camping in Britain. And as this story shows, it is incredibly dangerous to operate a barbecue in a confined space.
You wouldn’t cook a barbecue in your bedroom at home, so please don’t do it in your tent either.
When you take a carbon monoxide alarm with you on holiday, you can either buy one especially or simply take one of the walls at home. Just make sure you remember to put it back when you return.
At home, you should have one in the area your family sleeps so it can protect you all when you’re at your most vulnerable. Plus, you should also have them in rooms where a potential risk exists, such as gas boilers and fireplaces.
So when planning you’re next camping trip, make sure you’re prepared for everything. A carbon monoxide alarm will give you peace of mind so you can sleep soundly. And having a fire extinguisher nearby will mean you can react to any emergency.
Also, look out for common symptoms of CO poisoning, such as a headache, dizziness, vomiting, and confusion. If you suspect that you or someone else is suffering these effects, get everyone into clear air and seek medical attention.