BBQ Tent Camping Death Risk

BBQ Tent Camping Death Risk


The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that each year there are around 30 deaths and 450 injuries due to carbon monoxide poisoning from the use of portable BBQs, camping heaters, lanterns, or stoves inside tents, campers, and vehicles.


Carbon Monoxide The Silent Killer

Carbon monoxide has no smell or taste but can kill quickly. It has been dubbed the silent killer.

Carbon monoxide reduces the blood's ability to carry oxygen. Low blood oxygen levels can result in loss of consciousness and death.

Low levels of exposure to carbon monoxide can cause dizziness, headaches and flu-like symptoms.

If the level of gas is high enough, it can kill in minutes.


RV and Tent Camping Deaths From Carbon Monoxide

In Shropshire, England, May 2012, a 14 year old girl died of carbon monoxide poisoning on a family camping holiday. The girl’s parents and brother were also poisoned, but survived.

It is thought they were poisoned after leaving a disposable barbecue in the porch of their tent overnight to keep them warm.


In Hampshire, England, April 2012, a 6 year old girl died of carbon monoxide poisoning on a family camping trip.

Her parents had brought their charcoal burning portable bbq inside the tent to keep her warm.


In Tennessee, USA, September 2011, 3 men and 2 woman died of carbon monoxide poisoning in an RV, whilst camping at a charity event.

It is thought the storage hatch on the RV was not closed properly allowing gas from the generator to leak inside the RV.


In Gwynedd, Wales, August 2011, a 34 year old woman died of carbon monoxide poisoning on a tent camping holiday.

They had left the disposable bbq in the porch of their tent.


How To Avoid Carbon Monoxide Poisoning When Camping

Torch = Flashlight in American English


Do not use portable BBQs, heaters or lanterns while sleeping in enclosed areas such as tents, campers, RVs and other vehicles. They must always be used in an area with proper ventilation, preferably outside, due to the potential rapid build up of the deadly gas.

As the coals in a portable bbq begin to cool the level of carbon monoxide will rise. Even if a bbq seems to be completely out it can still be releasing carbon monoxide.

The use of alcohol and drugs increases the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Carbon monoxide is especially toxic to mother and child during pregnancy, infants, the elderly, smokers, and people with blood or circulatory system problems, such as anemia, or heart disease.


Know the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning

  • headache
  • dizziness
  • fatigue
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • confusion

See a doctor if you or a member of your family develops cold or flu-like symptoms while camping. Carbon monoxide poisoning, is often mistaken for a cold or flu and can therefore be detected too late.


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