Say No to CO: Carbon Monoxide Kills – Keep it out of your tent

"Say No To CO" is a Campaign that Get Out With The Kids launched to raise awareness to campers on the dangers of Carbon Monoxide poisoning in tents

There have been a shocking number of deaths due to the lack of awareness about carbon monoxide when camping.

A large majority of these deaths have been children, leaving parents and families devastated after what should have been an enjoyable camping trip.

[pullquote style=”right”]you can’t see Carbon Monoxide, you cannot smell Carbon Monoxide, and you cannot taste Carbon Monoxide[/wpsm_quote]Fortunately there is a general awareness of Carbon Monoxide with gas appliances, but little known about BBQs, with many deaths caused by disposable BBQs being brought into tents and camping pods.

Even leaving a BBQ in the porch of your tent, hours after use, could cause Carbon Monoxide poisoning as they continue to give off the harmful gas that can fall and hug the floor where people are sleeping.

Remember you can’t see Carbon Monoxide, you cannot smell Carbon Monoxide, and you cannot taste Carbon Monoxide.


Good Advice

There has been some good advice published by the Camping and Caravanning Club:

  • Never take a barbeque into a tent, awning, caravan or motorhome.
  • Never use a fuel-burning appliance to heat your tent or awning.
  • Never run a gas-, petrol-, or diesel-powered generator inside a tent or awning.
  • Don’t cook inside your tent or awning.
  • Don’t use any other gas, charcoal or liquid fuel appliances inside a tent or awning.
  • Don’t rely on a carbon monoxide (CO) detector to keep you safe in a tent or awning.


Sad News

This is not health and safety gone mad, and not scare mongering.

  • Girl dies at Shropshire campsite – The whole family failed to wake up in the morning and their 14-year-old daughter had died from CO poisoning.  A disposable BBQ in the porch of the family tent is suspected to be the cause. Update: Inquest confirms the death was due to CO poisoning from BBQ.
  • Barbeque fumes link to death – A six-year-old girl died from CO poisoning at a Hampshire campsite.  Parents woke campers in the middle of the night calling for help as their daughter started having fits, but she couldn’t be saved.  The parents were initially arrested on suspicion of murder.  A disposable BBQ in the tent was suspected to be the cause.
  • Man dies on Penrith campsite: Carbon Monoxide suspected – A 45-year-old man was found dead in a camping pod from carbon monoxide poisoning.  It was reported that a disposable BBQ had been brought into the pod.
  • Gyrn Goch tent death ‘classic’ poisoning from BBQ fumes – A 34-year-old woman died from carbon monoxide poisoning from fumes given off a smouldering barbeque that had been in her tent.
  • Barbecue CO gas killed camper – A 30-year-old woman died in her tent near Great Yarmouth from CO poisoning.  Her partner survived but lost an arm and damaged a kidney due to the CO.  They had brought their barbeque inside their tent after cooking on it.
  • Crantock campers rescue five from carbon monoxide tent – A family of five had a narrow escape from CO poisoning.  Their daughter was unconscious and the father didn’t have enough strength to rescue his family by himself.  In fact, if the father hadn’t woken up, the outcome would have been difficult.  The cause: they had lit a BBQ in their tent.
  • Suspected carbon monoxide death at New Forest campsite – a 50-year-old man died from CO poisoning.  This time, a gas BBQ that was used in a tent was suspected to be the cause.


So what’s to be done?

We need a campaign to raise awareness of the dangers to campers.

we need a campaign to raise awareness of the dangers to campers

Campsite Owners and Managers – Please Take Action

[pullquote style=”right”]create your own warning poster or use one of the prepared ones here[/wpsm_quote]

If possible, please pin up a warning poster in communal areas, washrooms, and where campers will see it.  Even better, hand information out if possible (especially during the cooler months).

Create your own warning or use one of the prepared ones here.

Disposable BBQ Warning Poster

We have collated a lot of advice and created this poster.  Click to download a PDF and print your own copy.

Carbon Monoxide Disposable BBQ Poster

A4 Landscape Poster. Click on the poster to download.

[custom_button text=”Download Warning Poster” title=”Download Warning Poster” url=”” size=”large” bg_color=”#FF5C00″ text_color=”#FFFFFF” align=”middle” target=”_blank”]

Camping and Caravanning Club

The The Camping and Caravanning Club have produced a poster and information leaflet.

Click on the images below to download and print your own copy.

Camping and Caravan Club Poster Camping and Caravan Club leaflet

Government Advice

Camping World Information

Camping World has also published some useful information, with a useful tip on checking gas containers are correctly fitted.

Download a PDF version of the advice

Website Admins – Please Take Action

There are many of us associated with the industry, either by providing blogs, forums, and other camping related websites.

Please do what you can to raise the awareness.  You can find a number of web banners here.

Camping Bloggers and Information Sites

Please publish an article on your web site warning campers of the dangers from disposable BBQs in tents.

Hopefully, together we can make a difference.

Further Information on Carbon Monoxide Poisoning – Symptoms

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is called the ‘silent killer’ as it can’t be detected by people, with poisoning often happening when people go to sleep.

If you have been burning a disposable BBQ or using other camping cooking equipment within an enclosed space, such as a tent, and you have a headache, you may have mild Carbon Monoxide poisoning.

Other indicators of CO poisoning:

  • Feeling sick
  • Being sick
  • Confusion and tiredness
  • Stomach pain
  • Shortness of breath

CO poisoning may also be confused with the flu or food poisoning.

Anyone can succumb to carbon monoxide poisoning, but some people can be more vulnerable:

  • babies and young children
  • pregnant women
  • people with chronic heart disease
  • people with asthma and other respiratory problems

More information:

Carbon Monoxide – Say No To CO – Who’s Helping

Here are some organisations that we know who are trying to raise awareness  of the dangers of Carbon Monoxide when camping. has this article that explains the dangers.
Camping World has provided some useful advice on the dangers and symptoms of CO when camping.
The Camping and Caravanning Club have created some advice, and information leaflet, and a poster.
Please also read RoSPA’s advice on camping safety.
The Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service have created a register where Camping and Caravan site owners can receive an information pack, including a poster, window sticker, and awareness flyers. Please see Carbon Monoxide Aware Register.There is currently no national register, but they are speaking with the authorities about creating one.
A warning poster has been issued in Hampshire.
Powys County Council are planning an awareness campaign.


Thanks also to the following for helping to raise awareness on Twitter, Facebook, and their blogs.

Thank You – Campsites Taking Action

The following campsites have confirmed they will put up a Carbon Monoxide awareness poster, have already done so, or have taken other actions to raise awareness with their campers.

Get Out With The Kids carbon monoxide poster
Warning poster displayed to campers at Fforest Fields campsite.

Our Carbon Monoxide poster at Celtic Camping
Carbon Monoxide poster displayed on main noticeboard at Celtic Camping.

Thank You – Community

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