With half the nation (52%) planning on barbecuing an average of five times for family and friends in 2017, Gas Safe Register is issuing a reminder to be aware of the symptoms of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.

Recent research by Gas Safe Register has revealed that the majority (80%) of people do not identify CO poisoning as a potential danger when barbecuing, instead worrying about food poisoning (67%), burns (51%), child safety (49%), garden fires (29%) and drunken accidents (27%) as the main barbecue hazards.

In fact, CO poisoning was placed only slightly ahead of concerns about damaging the garden or plants (19%) when barbecuing.

Jonathan Samuel, chief executive of Gas Safe Register, said: “Barbecuing is one of our nation’s favourite pastimes, but it can also be dangerous if not done correctly.

“It’s important that lit barbecues are never brought into an enclosed space and that people are aware of CO poisoning symptoms. By knowing these symptoms, people may be able to act quickly and reduce the severity of CO poisoning.”

Gas Safe Register offers the following barbecue safety tips:

  • Never use a barbecue inside
  • Don’t take a smouldering or lit barbecue into a tent, caravan or cabin. Even if you’ve finished cooking, your barbecue can still give off fumes, so keep it outside
  • Always ensure you can see your lit barbecue and don’t leave it lit while sleeping
  • Use your barbecue in accordance with the operating instructions
  • Be aware of the signs and symptoms of CO poisoning – headaches, nausea, breathlessness, dizziness, collapse and loss of consciousness.