You may not be aware but, when barbecuing, carbon monoxide poisoning is as great a threat as food poisoning. Here we’ve provided some food for thought on ensuring carbon monoxide poisoning does not spoil your barbecue.
The air will be filled with the flavoursome aroma of cooking meats and veg – maybe even a bit of haloumi – but if there was a carbon monoxide leak, you would not be able to smell it, see it, or taste it; you may only become aware of it when it’s too late and the symptoms take hold.
Carbon monoxide is created when fossil fuels such as gas, charcoal and wood fail to fully combust due to a lack of oxygen. Gas, charcoal and disposable barbecues are sources of carbon monoxide, and you should be cautious to keep them in a well-ventilated area. This may sound obvious, but then there are those times in the UK when the summer weather means barbecuing under shelter – at which time you may be putting your diners and yourself at risk.
According to the NHS, every year in the UK over 200 people are admitted to hospital with suspected carbon monoxide poisoning, resulting in approximately 40 deaths. Being aware of the symptoms could help you before it’s too late, letting you know there is a carbon monoxide leak or that the barbecue is not properly ventilated. The symptoms include:
- Nausea and sickness
- Tiredness and confusion
- Stomach pain
- Shortness of breath and difficulty breathing
Guide to Safe Barbecuing
The menu’s set, you’ve got your apron on and spatula at hand. Before you light a match and get the barbecue under way, make sure you have the following safety checklist in mind:
1. If using a gas-powered barbecue, ensure there are no leaks in the pipe, and that it has been left undamaged whilst in storage. Make sure the gas taps are turned off before changing the gas cylinder, and always do so in a well-ventilated area. When you have finished cooking, turn off the gas cylinder before turning off the barbecue so that any gas in the pipeline is used up.
2. Light your barbecue in an open area with plenty of fresh air. If the British weather forces you beneath shelter, the area must have plenty of ventilation.
3. Never take a lit or smouldering barbeque into an enclosed area, tent, caravan, or small room. Even if you have finished cooking, or it has cooled down, a barbeque will give off fumes for hours after being lit.
4. If camping, or enjoying your barbecue in a cabin or enclosed space, make sure the barbecue is not used or left nearby so that the fumes do not find their way in.
If you suffer carbon monoxide poisoning and it is not your fault, Slater and Gordon Lawyers represent people in all types of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Claims. For a free consultation call our No Win, No Fee Solicitors on freephone 0800 916 9046 or contact us online.