Protect yourself against carbon monoxide poisoning

We were extremely saddened to hear the story of John Cook this week who, along with his wife Audrey and daughter Maureen, died in his caravan at a Cornwall holiday park as a result of suspected carbon monoxide poisoning.

The incident follows a major storyline on ITV soap opera Coronation Street highlighting the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning in the home, however many people might not be aware that they could also be at risk in their caravan.

For those of you that might be concerned about the dangers of carbon monoxide, here is some more information on how you can protect yourself against potential poisoning.

What is carbon monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless gas produced by burning any type of fuel. In your home or caravan, appliances such as gas heaters and water heaters are likely sources, however there is nothing to worry about if these items are in good repair and well maintained. Problems only occur if they are leaking, causing carbon monoxide to escape into the room.

How does it affect the body?

If inhaled, carbon monoxide replaces oxygen in the bloodstream. It causes flu like symptoms such as dizziness, headaches, nausea, breathing difficulties and fatigue. Prolonged exposure to carbon monoxide will lead your symptoms to worsen and could prove fatal.

How can I prevent carbon monoxide poisoning?

Here are a few tips for ensuring your caravan is as safe as possible:

  • Make sure any heating systems or gas-fuelled appliances are repaired and maintained by a qualified professional – incorrect DIY attempts can lead to a carbon monoxide leak
  • Never use a generator indoors
  • Use proper fuel in space heaters
  • Install a carbon monoxide alarm
  • If you think you are suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning get out of your caravan and stay outdoors or in a well-ventilated building, call an ambulance and keep as still as possible to conserve the remaining oxygen in your blood

As a specialist caravan insurer, Coast regularly offers safety tips on our website. Check back regularly for our latest articles. In the meantime, for a quotation on your caravan insurance call Freephone 0800 614 849 or buy touring caravan insurance online.