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Warning over carbon monoxide danger

As Easter approaches visitors to Cumbria are reminded of the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.

The Lake District Foundation has sent safety posters to campsites as Cumbria prepares to welcome visitors.

You can’t see CO, taste it or smell it, but it can kill.

A key piece of advice is to never take a barbecue into a tent, awning, caravan or motor home. Even a cooling barbecue gives off poisonous carbon monoxide. Don’t cook inside your tent or awning. Always have gas appliances in your caravan or motor home serviced regularly.

There are around 60 deaths from accidental CO poisoning in England and Wales every year. Around 200 people are left seriously ill, while 4,000 people are treated in hospital.

A web page gives useful – and potentially life-saving – advice to campers and boaters: https://www.lakedistrictfoundation.org/carbon-monoxide/

Sarah Smith, from The Lake District Foundation said: “The Lake District and Cumbria is a haven for camping and boating, and it is great to get out into nature. But it’s important to know about CO poisoning and how to prevent it.

“As the country recovers from the pandemic we will see a significant increase in the number of first-time visitors to the Lake District National Park and visitors who may be new to camping.

“They may not be aware of the risks of CO, which could have devastating effects on individuals but also local communities and businesses. Learn how to keep you and your family safe by following the guidance on our website.”

The Lake District Foundation works with gas distributor Northern Gas Networks (NGN) to raise awareness of the dangers of CO.  NGN provides the region’s rapid response team when a smell of gas is reported or carbon monoxide is suspected.

Steve Dacre, CO Innovations Lead for NGN said: “CO cannot be seen, smelled, tasted or heard but it can be deadly. We’d advise anyone thinking of camping or caravanning this Easter holiday to pack an audible carbon monoxide alarm in their bag. They only cost £15 but could save your life.

“If you suspect carbon monoxide is present, or you smell gas, get into the fresh air immediately and call the National Gas Emergency Service straight away on 0800 111 999 and we can send an engineer out to you. This line is in operation 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

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