Public safety officials have issued a warning of the dangers of disposable barbecues ahead of the bank holiday weekend.
Cleveland Fire Brigade warning wants to alert people to the life-threatening risks of the throwaway BBQs which give can cause lethal carbon monoxide poisoning – known as the silent killer.
Can cause drowsiness and ease you into a sleep which you may never wake up fromPhil Lancaster, Cleveland Fire Brigade
And Hartlepool Borough Council trading standards officers are calling for better labelling to make people more aware of the dangers.
The warning comes with the latest bank holiday weekend around the corner and outdoor cooking on the menu in warmer weather.
Cleveland Fire Brigade says disposable barbecues are fine out in the open but should never be taken inside including tents, caravans, and conservatories even when cooling down.
Phil Lancaster, the brigade’s director of community protection, said: “Even when apparently cold, disposable barbecues continue to produce carbon monoxide.
“In an enclosed space this can cause drowsiness and ease you into a sleep which you may never wake up from.
“When you have finished using a disposable barbecue, leave it outside until the following day and then dispose of it appropriately.”
Eighteen people have died from carbon monoxide poisoning linked to BBQs since 2004.
Ian Harrison, trading standards and licensing manager for the council, said: “I am delighted to see that retailers are now beginning to take carbon monoxide poisoning seriously and warnings, such as those now being sewn into tents, will act as a constant reminder for campers to take extra care.
“Real progress is also being made with the manufacturers of disposable BBQs but we will continue to work with them to ensure that clear and prominent warnings are included in all packaging.
“To be effective, warnings need to be prominent and stark and not tucked away in small print which is hard to find and difficult to read.
“It is essential that people do not put themselves, their families or friends at risk.”
The warning is being put out by the Safer Hartlepool Partnership which sees key agencies working together to keep Hartlepool a safe place to live and work.