LAKE District campers and caravanners are being warned to keep themselves safe from carbon monoxide this summer.

The warning comes as the school holidays approach and revellers head to music festivals including Kendal Calling.

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service says the use of gas or charcoal barbecues in confined spaces poses a serious carbon monoxide risk.

Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless gas and can kill quickly if inhaled in high concentrations, said the fire service.

The symptoms of poisoning are similar to flu or food poisoning, and include headaches, nausea and dizziness.

CFRS’s tips for staying safe and minimising the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning are:

  •  Never take a barbeque into a tent, caravan or motorhome. 
  • A warm, smouldering barbecue will give off poisonous carbon monoxide.
  • Never place a lit barbeque near the sleeping area outside your tent.
  • Never use a fuel-burning appliance to heat your tent.
  • Never run a gas, petrol or diesel-powered generator inside a tent.
  • Do not cook with a stove inside your tent or awning, unless there is an area specifically designed for this purpose and you are sure there is adequate ventilation.
  • Use a portable carbon monoxide detector in your tent.

Mark Clement, for the service, said: “Carbon monoxide is a silent killer, but just taking a few simple precautions to minimise the dangers can keep you and your friends and family safe.

“I’d urge anybody going camping or caravaning this summer to make sure they protect themselves from carbon monoxide so they remember their time away for all the right reasons."

During the summer months Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service will be distributing carbon monoxide safety leaflets at campsites and tourist information centres and visiting supermarkets around the county to promote the safe use of barbeques.