Safety First

Tragic camping accident emphasises the importance of gas safety.

The importance of not using gas barbeques in enclosed spaces was sadly highlighted this weekend with the news that a camper died, possibly from carbon monoxide poisoning after using a gas barbeque in a tent to keep warm.

Vincent Clare, 50, would have been unable to detect the gas, as carbon monoxide is both colourless and odourless. It is important that barbeques and stoves are never used in enclosed spaces to avoid a similar tragedy.

When used in the correct ventilated areas and ways, BBQ’s and stoves are very safe and new campers shouldn’t be discouraged from using gas to cook, but time should be spent on researching the correct manner to use these pieces of equipment. 

  • Barbeques and stoves shouldn’t be used inside a tent -even as the coals cool down as a way of keeping warm.
  • Ensure your BBQ has completely stopped burning before transferring it to your porch area- keeping it covered if it is wet, or leaving it outside if not.
  • Never tip coals into a bin, even if they seem cold- tip them on the ground (soil, not grass).
  • Keep your BBQ or stove away from trees and fences.
  • Never use petrol to fuel your BBQ and always light cold coals.
  • If you are using a gas cylinder and need a new cannister, turn the tap off before changing it. Make sure you change cylinders in a ventilated area, not in the tent.
  • Don’t use candles in or near a tent, and don’t smoke inside or around it.
  • Use torches for light not flames when you’re out at night.
  • Keep flammables and gas outside the tent away from children.
  • Cook outside, and keep cooking appliances away from your tent in case they are knocked over.
  • Try not to pitch or cook near long, dry grass.
  • Have a bucket of water or sand nearby in case of emergencies
  • If you stay in a caravan keep gas cylinders outside your caravan and before going to bed (or leaving) turn off all appliances
  • Never use a cooker or heater while your caravan is moving.
  • If you think there is a gas leak, turn off all appliances and the main cylinder valve and open all the doors and windows
  • Back at home, store cylinders outside away from extreme weather, and never in your house.

We hope this helps other families stay safe when camping.