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Alex warns festival goers about dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning

Festival goers must be aware of the dangers caused by carbon monoxide that is present in disposable barbecues, experts have warned as the number of deaths and hospital admissions caused by carbon monoxide poisoning soars.

In a recent All-Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group meeting chaired by Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham, discussions were held on how to effectively raise awareness of the risks of using barbecues inside tents for cooking and to warm them up.

The group, which included representatives from Festival Republic, the Association of Independent Festivals and Gas Safe Register amongst others, concluded that a short simple message must be pushed to festival goers through social media or promotional material at the events telling them not to use barbecues inside of tents regardless of the weather.

Issuing messages on confirmation emails and mobile phone push notifications can be effective as almost 60% of festival goers use the apps, however the group established it is also vitally important to remind people of the dangers whilst they are at festivals too. Alex also highlighted that it is important for every festival to have a champion to promote greater awareness.

Despite not being a legal requirement, barbecues currently are sold with warming labels as it is seen to be good practice.

Alex said:

“Nearly half of all festival goers say they would barbecue in a tent so clearly there is work for us to do to better inform people. This is an important topic and we need to see how we can drive change.”

The group agreed resources will be distributed from carbon monoxide organisations to festivals and a series of other recommendations will be developed to raise awareness.