Wales and West Utilities is reminding them how to be #CarbonMonoxideSafe4Summer – at home as well as on holiday in the busy summer for staycations.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is known as the ‘silent killer,’ as you cannot see, smell or taste it. It’s released when any fossil fuel doesn’t burn properly, including charcoal from barbecues.

Each year in the UK approximately 40 people die as a result of CO poisoning, with a further 200 people hospitalised and 4,000 more attending A&E.

The gas emergency and pipeline service for Wales and south west England is reminding people that gas safety isn’t just important in winter, and is urging people to take four simple steps to keep safe. These include:

  • Get a working, audible carbon monoxide alarm. Whether at home or on holiday, a carbon monoxide alarm could save your life. Follow the instructions to make sure it’s positioned correctly too
  • Never use a barbecue indoors. Whether that’s a home, tent, caravan or motorhome. Always keep an eye on it when you’re cooking, even when it’s gone out. When it’s finished, leave it outside as it can still release fumes. And if you’ve had a barbecue and you feel dizzy, breathless or sick, it could be CO poisoning and you should seek medical attention immediately
  • Know the symptoms of CO poisoning. A headache is the most common symptom, but others can include feeling dizzy, breathless, or experiencing flu like symptoms, without the temperature/fever
  • Learn who is most at risk from carbon monoxide poisoning. Those who are elderly, pregnant, have existing respiratory problems and young children are most at risk from CO poisoning

Clive Book, head of emergency services at Wales & West Utilities, said: “We know that after a testing year and a half, people are keen to get away and make the most of the summer, but we want to make sure everyone knows how to be #CarbonMonoxideSafe4Summer.

“Whether you’re camping, caravanning, boating, or simply enjoying a barbecue in the garden, these simple steps can help people take care of themselves and their loved ones, and make the most of their summer.

“And remember, if you smell gas or suspect the presence of carbon monoxide, call the gas emergency service on 0800 111 999 at any time of day or night.”

More information on carbon monoxide poisoning can be found on Wales and West Utilities’ website