Carbon monoxide nearly claims lives of campers

Published: July 21, 2015

With winter really biting in some parts of the country, the need for care with the use of heaters is really being put in the spotlight.

Over the weekend, three women and a 15-month-old baby from the same family had a narrow escape after suffering carbon monoxide poisoning while camping in Victoria’s east. According to the ABC, the family went to bed with a butane heater on inside their tent at a campground near Walhalla, near Baw Baw National Park.

Family members apparently went to check on the crying baby and found the three unconscious women inside the tent. They were dragged out into the fresh air and driven to hospital in nearby Sale. The ABC says all four have since been released from hospital.

Last week, the body of an Ararat man was found inside his home where he had been using a camping heater attached to an LPG bottle. Officials are waiting for toxicology tests to determine if he died from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Safety regulator Energy Safe said gas appliances designed for outdoor use should never be used in enclosed spaces.

“Carbon monoxide is a silent killer. You can’t see it. You can’t smell it and you can’t taste it,” Paul Fearon, Victoria’s director of Energy Safety, told the ABC. “The golden rule is if an appliance is attached to a potable gas bottle, don’t bring it inside.”

The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can include headaches, fatigue and nausea.

  • Have you ever been tempted to use an ‘outside’ heater inside your caravan or motorhome? Comment below.
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