Warning over use of barbecues

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TRADING standards officers in Hartlepool are urging people to guard against the dangers of using disposable barbecues following an investigation.

The warning follows the probe into labelling of throwaway barbecues being sold throughout Hartlepool. It found that out of 23 disposable barbecues being sold, only eight displayed any warning about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Council chiefs say only two of the test purchases displayed the warning prominently on the product’s outer label and only five included a warning that exposure to carbon monoxide poisoning could result as a result of using the product in an enclosed space such as a tent.

Carbon monoxide can kill within just three minutes and there have been a number of deaths in recent years throughout the country.

Ian Harrison, of Hartlepool Borough Council, said: “When used as intended, in the open air, disposable charcoal barbecues are a safe, easy, cost effective method of cooking food.

“After using them, the residual heat from the barbecue can be seen by campers as a way of keeping warm in their tents, unaware that even when cooling down carbon monoxide is produced and contained within the canvas walls with deadly effect.

“Once lit, a disposable barbecue should never be taken inside a tent or other enclosed space for any reason.

“After use, a disposable barbecue should be left outside to cool down and, once completely cold, disposed of appropriately.”