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Are you a savvy sizzler or a botch-job burner?

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: August 09, 2014

John Woodhall

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West Midlands Ambulance Service is offering barbecue advice to avoid families having a paramedic turn up to their summer soiree.

Each year the ambulance service attends incidents where people have either been burnt from using a barbecue or chiminea or have suffered carbon monoxide poisoning from inhaling noxious fumes.

John Woodhall, a paramedic and Team Leader for the Trust’s Hazardous Area Response Team (HART), said: “When you suffer a burn it actually takes layers of skin away. It can leave you open to infection, you can be left with life-long scars and in some cases burns can result in limb amputations and even death.

“Carbon monoxide poisoning is very difficult to diagnose. Carbon monoxide actually binds to your red blood cells. It stops your body taking up oxygen so essentially you actually suffocate.

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“Carbon monoxide can build up even from a barbecue which appears as though it’s gone out, it can still be lit, and will give off harmful carbon monoxide for hours afterwards which is why we urge people to avoid harmful situations by not taking barbecues into tents or enclosed spaces.”

Top tips:

  • * Never use accelerants like petrol, to light your barbecue as its explosive and can burn you. Only use approved fuels.
  • * Don’t use barbecues in enclosed spaces, like tents, to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning which can be fatal if undetected early.
  • * Watch out for children and animals when a barbecue is lit.
  • * Always keep a bucket of water nearby just in case.

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