Holidaymakers across Merseyside are urged to be cautious while using barbecues when away camping this summer.

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service has issued tips on how to use barbecues safely and avoid dangerous carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.

The cooking devices produce CO, which is a colourless, odourless and highly poisonous substance. Without an adequate supply of fresh air it can kill quickly without any warning signs.

People are advised to:
• Never take a smouldering or lit barbecue, whether it is charcoal or gas, into a tent or caravan. The barbecue will give off fumes for some hours after cooking.
• Never use a barbecue inside a tent to keep you warm.
• Never leave a lit barbecue unattended and do not leave it lit while sleeping.
• Only use appliances in accordance with the operating instructions.
• Place the cooking area well away from the tent and ensure an adequate supply of fresh air.

Carbon monoxide from a poorly adjusted camping light or stove can kill. Campers are urged to ensure camping lights and stoves are clean and properly adjusted.

Where possible, people are advised to take a portable carbon monoxide alarm with them on holiday.

The six main symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are headaches, dizziness, breathlessness, nausea, collapse and loss of concentration. If anyone is concerned, they should seek medical advice.

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service Watch Manager Mark Jones, said: “We want people to enjoy their summer safely this year. Some simple precautions can prevent people becoming victims of carbon monoxide poisoning while they are away camping.”

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