MON CC Trading Standards Officer Chris Oates demonstrates campaign materials with a disposable barbecue kit
Officers visited caravan and camping sites around the county, meeting with owners and distributing posters and leaflets. Officers have been encouraged by the responsible approach of site owners who recognise the issues and support attempts to spread awareness amongst inexperienced campers who may risk lighting a barbecue set in their tent to keep warm as temperatures drop overnight.
New research shows a lack of awareness about safety regarding barbecues and cooking devices, with one in five people unaware that using a gas barbeque inside a tent can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. Cooking on a charcoal barbeque inside a tent also poses the same danger.
The issue has been brought to the nation's attention over the last year, with seven people dying and seventeen seriously affected.
Figures indicated that around a quarter of those planning on holidaying in the UK this summer intended camping or caravanning and there were concerns that the UK’s cold wet summer would tempt people to cook inside tents or caravans with equipment that needs ventilation.
Because carbon monoxide is odourless and can't be seen it can kill quickly with no warning. As well as ensuring appliances are in good working order, people are encouraged to follow basic safety rules which include never taking a barbeque, light or heater into a tent, caravan, hut, or confined area without ventilation, and never leaving a lit barbeque unattended or while sleeping.
As well as visiting 30 of Monmouthshire’s camping or caravan sites trading standards officers have also delivered posters warning of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning to outlets selling disposal charcoal barbecues and other camping equipment.