BBQs and Carbon Monoxide – The Invisible Killer

Eating outdoors and having a BBQ whilst on a camping trip, for me at least, is a must! Cooking outdoors seems to capture glorious flavours and aromas that can’t be found in any kitchen and the process of getting one started leaves time to prepare mouth watering recipes and concoctions outside your tent.
Mine and the girl’s favourites are sausage and burger lollies! Ahha… I hear you asking “what are they?” I’ll be putting together a list and some recipes of tried and trusted foods that I’ve cooked over my years of camping – watch this space for Rosie’s Recipes!

BBQs and Carbon Monoxide - The Invisible KillerBBQ’s and the Invisible Dangers of Carbon Monoxide:

Everyone’s bellies are full, washing up done, time to sit and relax around the warm embers of the BBQ coals – even in the height of summer, evening temperatures can drop rapidly. It’s tempting to put your barbeque in your tent, or tent porch, after use, to keep you warm – DON’T! It may kill you, and very quickly. Carbon monoxide fumes from BBQs are invisible, odourless, and lethal. Even if you think it’s safe, and the flames have died down, don’t do it. The smouldering coals may be warm, but they will kill you. Even with the tent doors open. Even just in the porch. Please don’t do it!

The Fumes are Fact

With so many people camping this summer, gas safety officials are warning families not to use barbecues to heat their tents. The Gas Safety Register has issued the urgent advice after several deaths from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning caused by gas and charcoal barbecues. The issue has been brought to the nation’s attention over the last year, with seven people dying and seventeen being seriously injured.
New research shows a lack of awareness about safety regarding barbecues and cooking devices, with one in five people unaware that using a gas barbeque inside a tent can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.
A further third didn’t know cooking on a charcoal barbeque inside can do the same – never use in enclosed spaces such as your tent, porch or awning!
Even sitting too close to a charcoal fire or barbeque can lead to poisoning, which only a third of those surveyed were aware of.

BBQs and Carbon Monoxide - The Invisible KillerKeep Your BBQ Away From Your Tent

When my daughters and I enjoy an outdoor camping feast, I always make sure that the BBQ is situated a safe distance from the tent and that the tent and windows are zipped up as this stops everything smelling of smoky meat and vegetables the next morning! With little ones at a distance, not only are they less likely to breath in deadly (toxic) fumes but also they are out from under your feet whilst you are cooking and preparing meals.
Disposable barbecues can be fun, offering an easy way to cook delicious foods outdoors, but please realise that these are just as lethal and give off fumes for hours and hours after you have used them. Barbecues still emit carbon monoxide even when the flames are out. This fact is little known, so please be aware!

General BBQ and Stove Information

Do not use stoves or disposable barbecues (for cooking or warmth) in an enclosed space with poor ventilation. Don’t use gas fridges or heaters inside tents.
Also don’t be lulled into a safe sense of security just by having a carbon monoxide detector in your tent or awning. They are designed to be used in buildings, and sometimes caravans and motor homes, but won’t necessarily be fully effective in a tent or awing. Take one of course, but please don’t rely solely on it and ignore the other precautions just because you have one.

Remember camping is fun fun fun! Please stay safe!

Author: Rosie
(The CampTrip Team)


About the Author

has written 35 articles on CampTrip.

Rosie is the newest member of the CampTrip team and she loves to go camping with her two lovely young daughters. Rosie is out camping in and around the UK at any chance she gets. We love her fun personality, interesting writing and useful tips and tricks!

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