Family suffer carbon monoxide poisoning after taking BBQ into tent
Two adults and child saved from potentially fatal outcome after being woken by family dog being sick due to fumes.
A family suffered a carbon monoxide poisoning scare while camping, sparking a warning over barbecues in tents.
Firefighters have now appealed for the public to recognise the danger posed by carbon monoxide after the family were hospitalised as a result of breathing in fumes from a barbecue.
Two adults and two children were taken to hospital at around 1am Wednesday after they became unwell in their tent at a site in Parton, Dumfries and Galloway.
An alarm led to crews from Dalbeattie and New Galloway being sent to the scene shortly after 5am.
Watch Manager Jason Gardiner, community fire safety officer for Dumfries and Galloway, said: "It appears the family took a barbeque into the tent after it was extinguished.
"They had a very lucky escape. Although the barbeque was out it still produced carbon monoxide, which would have filled the tent and could easily have resulted in the tragic loss of their lives.
"Carbon monoxide is incredibly dangerous because people won’t know it’s there or that they’re breathing it in.
"In this case the family was only woken up by the sound of their dog being sick. The children were then violently unwell and they were all taken to hospital."
Heating and cooking appliances fuelled by coal, smokeless fuels, wood, oil and gas can all produce carbon monoxide and exposure to the gas reduces the blood’s ability to carry oxygen, causing vital organs to fail.
Each year, around 40 people die in the UK from carbon monoxide poisoning. Symptoms include tiredness, drowsiness, dizziness, chest pains and nausea.
Fire crews responding to the alarm later in the morning confirmed there were no signs of fumes from other sources.
The firefighters spoke to occupants of other tents and confirmed everyone was well, however those discussions made crews aware of a widespread misconception about the dangers of carbon monoxide.
Watch Manager Gardiner explained: "It was clear other campers had a potentially fatal misunderstanding of the risk from barbeques.
"Some people thought it was safe to bring them inside a tent once they were out, not realising that even an extinguished barbeque will give off fumes and in a confined space like a tent this could easily kill.
"We don’t want to see someone lose their life through something that could be so easily avoided. It’s important all holidaymakers understand the risk posed by carbon monoxide and make sure barbeques aren’t brought into the tent."