Manchester barbecue-goers warned of carbon monoxide threat as Britain hopes for weekend sunny spell

By Alex Bysouth

Manchester barbecue-goers are being urged to stay carbon monoxide safe, as Britain prepares for a welcome sunny spell expected to the country this weekend.

Bolton West MP Julie Hilling is encouraging people to take appropriate steps to ensure protection against the threat of carbon monoxide poisoning if they are using barbecues.

With tragic deaths occurring every year, often caused by bringing gas or charcoal BBQs into tents and enclosed spaces, Cllr Hilling is hoping residents recognise the necessary precautions.

“I advise residents to take extra care when barbecuing near to the home,” she said. “Never take a smouldering or lit BBQ into a tent, caravan or cabin.

“BBQs should remain outside even after cooking as they still give off fumes hours after use. Never use a BBQ inside to keep you warm and never leave a lit BBQ unattended or while sleeping.

“Place your cooking area well away from your tent or garage – with carbon monoxide is one such threat being colourless, odourless, and tasteless, it is impossible to detect.”

And Councillor David Acton, Chair of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority, offered advice on to how to stay barbecue-safe this summer.

“Barbecues are a pleasure many of us enjoy when the weather is hot, but they also pose many dangers,” he explained.

“Never dispose of a barbeque when it is still hot. You can protect yourselves by concentrating on what you’re doing.

“Make sure your barbecue is in good working order, keeping a bucket of water nearby in case of emergencies and keeping children, garden games and pets well away from the cooking area.

“Never leave the barbecue unattended, never use petrol or paraffin to revive your barbecue, and never put ashes straight into a dustbin or wheelie bin.”

Cllr Hilling’s call is part of a new national campaign urging people across the UK to be aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning this summer.

The national campaign is being organised by the All-Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group, a group of cross-party MPs from all political parties working to prevent carbon monoxide deaths in the UK.

The warning comes after a Gas Safety Trust report launched last week confirmed the dangers of the colourless, odourless gas – often dubbed the ‘Silent Killer’.

Despite a fall in the number of deaths from piped gas in homes last year, there remains a need to explore causes of carbon monoxide poisoning, such as BBQs and camping equipment.

Carbon monoxide can kill quickly if inhaled in high concentrations with symptoms similar to flu or food poisoning – including headaches, nausea and dizziness.

“It’s vital that people take the necessary precautions to avoid the tragic loss of life that can occur from carbon monoxide poisoning in the summer months,” added Cllr Hilling.

“Never make the mistake of thinking that CO poisoning is a winter-only issue – it isn’t. 

“If you’re camping or picnicking this summer, the message is simple – follow the safety measures and protect your family.”

Picture courtesy of Accretion Disc, with thanks.

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