Soggy summers making caravanners risk their lives
Thursday, 22, Sep 2016 11:00
by Ed Davies
Two in five caravanners and campers have admitted taking enormous risks with their lives by bringing outdoor gas appliances inside as a result of the unpredictable British weather
Millions are ignoring basic gas safety laws by bringing lit barbecues inside caravans, porches and awnings because of the rain and in order to stay warm.
A survey of 1,000 holidaymakers by CORGI HomePlan revealed a shocking lack of understanding of the risks involved when using gas cookers, barbecues and heaters - that can all emit deadly carbon monoxide, even when flames are extinguished.
In June last year a couple holidaying in Somerset narrowly escaped death by carbon monoxide poisoning and there have been several attempts by authorities to boost people's awareness of the issue.
More than one in five of those surveyed (22 per cent) said that when it rains, they will bring a barbecue into their caravan or awning.
Mark Leslie, CEO of CORGI HomePlan, said: "People leave their worries at home when they go on holiday and are not applying the same safety rules as they would in everyday life.
"However, fewer than one in four people are having their camping or caravanning gas appliances serviced regularly, according to our research.
"This compares to the 43 per cent who have domestic appliances such as boilers and gas fires serviced annually.
"Every gas appliance needs regular servicing by a registered engineer to ensure it operates safely.
"By packing a simple CO detector in your luggage and setting it up in your caravan, it leaves you free to enjoy a worry-free break."
Worryingly, nearly two thirds of people (63 per cent) did not know that CO continues to be produced after a flame has been extinguished. Caravanners were also confused as to what 'well ventilated' is.
Just over a third (38 per cent) thought a caravan with an open door was enough.
The reality is fumes can blow from lit and extinguished appliances into - rather than out of - confined spaces, allowing carbon monoxide to accumulate to toxic levels.
An overwhelming three-quarters of caravanners admitted they have not had their caravan's gas appliances check in the last year.
A shocking 18 per cent of caravan owners have never had their vehicle's boiler serviced in the past five years.
Of the 1,000 people surveyed today, one in 10 have first hand experience of carbon monoxide poisoning, admitting they personally know someone who has, or suspects they have, been poisoned.