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Be CO safe at home & away

Posted on: 21/06/2017

With Glastonbury, one of the biggest music and arts festival in the UK, starting this week, and wonderful weather marking the start of summer, I think it’s a good opportunity to remind people of the importance of keeping themselves safe from the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO) while they are on holiday.

CO is called the ‘silent killer’. You can’t see it, smell it or taste it. It’s released when any fossil fuel doesn’t burn properly – and that includes charcoal from BBQs. Breathing it in can make you very unwell and it can kill.

Symptoms of CO poisoning can be similar to food poisoning and the flu – but without the high temperature. A headache is the most common symptom, but others can include dizziness, nausea and vomiting, tiredness and confusion, stomach pain and difficulty breathing.

It’s really important that people are aware of CO when they’re on holiday too whether they are staying in a tent, on a boat or in holiday accommodation. People should always try and take an audible CO alarm with them, and remember, never to use a BBQ in an enclosed space like a tent.

If anyone suspects CO poisoning, they must get into fresh air as quickly as possible and call the National Gas Emergency number immediately on 0800 111 999.

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Clive Book

Clive Book is Wales & West Utilities Head of Emergency and Metering Services