Friday, 20 April 2012

Gas safety on holiday

You can't see it, taste it or smell it but Carbon Monoxide (CO) can kill quickly without warning. 

When you go on holiday, you might be more vulnerable than in your own home. You don’t always know how often the gas appliances in your accommodation have been safety checked or serviced or if it’s been done by someone qualified.  

If you’re camping or staying on a boat, the carbon monoxide from a badly adjusted camping light or stove can kill. Barbecues in enclosed spaces are lethal too. Make sure your camping light and stove are clean and properly adjusted. 

Never take a portable barbecue – or lit charcoal – into an enclosed space like a tent or caravan. Make sure exhaust from generators is properly vented away from occupied areas. 

Carbon Monoxide is a colourless, odourless, highly poisonous gas that can kill in minutes. Carbon Monoxide poisoning can be caused by ANY fuel that burns or smoulders. Symptoms include a mild headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and drowsiness. 

You are particularly at risk from carbon monoxide poisoning while sleeping, as you may not be aware of early carbon monoxide symptoms until it’s too late. 

David Kemp, Head of Community Safety, said: 

“East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service recommends that when you go on holiday; take a carbon monoxide alarm with you. It won’t take up much space and could potentially save you and your family’s lives. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.”

East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service recommends that you follow Gas Safe Register’s advice on staying safe whilst on holiday:
  • Ask if the gas appliances in your accommodation have been safety checked and serviced. If you’re holidaying in the UK in cottages or caravans, the landlord must do this by law – so ask the landlord for an up-to-date gas safety record.
  • Carbon Monoxide alarms are rare overseas. If you take one away with you, make sure it is suitable for travel.
  • Appliances in holiday accommodation will be different to those you’re used to at home. If you’re not sure how they work, read the instructions or ask the holiday rep for help
  • Gas cookers and gas BBQ’s should not be used for heating and require adequate ventilation when in use.
  • Recognise the signs of a defective gas appliance. Black marks or stains around the appliance, lazy yellow or orange flames instead of crisp, blue flames and too much condensation are all signs that gas appliances aren’t working properly.
  • Don’t mistake carbon monoxide poisoning with other holiday sicknesses, such as food poisoning, dehydration or a hangover. The six main symptoms are: headache, dizziness, nausea, breathlessness, collapse and loss of consciousness.

For further information please call Gas Safe Register on 0800 408 5500 or visit www.GasSafeRegister.co.uk


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