Camping Safety Message
The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service offers the following safety advice for campers to reduce the risk of fire starting and spreading.
Staying in a tent
- Never use candles in or near a tent – torches are safer
- Keep cooking appliances away from the tent all as they could easily set alight
- Never cook inside a small tent
- Don’t cook near flammable materials or long grass, they can set alight easily
- Make sure you know how to escape by cutting your way out of the tent if there is a fire
- Make sure everyone knows how to put out clothing that’s on fire – stop, drop and roll
- Don’t smoke inside tents
- Never attempt to use a barbecue, or other gas appliance designed for outside use, in a tent, this can lead to the build-up of poisonous gases
- Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a colourless, odourless, highly poisonous gas that can kill in minutes. Carbon Monoxide poisoning can be caused by any fuel that burns or smoulders.
- Watch out for the symptoms, which include:
- Mild headache
In recent years there have been a few occurrences of people suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning as a result of lighting a barbecue in a tent or other enclosed space. More information on carbon monoxide safety from the Gas Safe Register, who has responsibility for promoting carbon monoxide messages on behalf of the Health and Safety Executive.
Visit the Gas Safe Register website.
View information on carbon monoxide safety when camping.
General do's and don'ts when using a barbecue
- Don’t cook if you’re affected by alcohol or prescription drugs
- Never leave barbecues unattended
- Never take a barbecue of any kind, or lit charcoal, into an enclosed space like a tent or awning. The carbon monoxide it gives off could kill you
- Keep a bucket of water, sand or a garden hose nearby in case of emergencies
- Set up your barbecue on level ground, away from bushes, fences, tents or other structures
- Leave plenty of room around your barbecue, so you don’t have to squeeze past it
- Be careful when cooking fatty foods, the dripping fat can cause the barbecue to flare up
- Make sure the coals are cool before you move the barbecue. Once cool, dispose of the ashes safely – never place them in dustbins
For gas barbecue users
- Make sure the tap is turned off before changing the gas cylinder, do it outside in the open air or in a well-ventilated place
- When you’ve finished cooking, turn off the gas cylinders before you turn off the barbecue controls, this will use up any gas in the pipeline
- If you suspect a leak to the gas cylinder or pipe work, brush soapy water around all joints and watch for bubbles. If you find a leaky joint, tighten it gently. Do not over-tighten
- Store gas cylinders outside, away from frost and direct sunlight