For many British Columbians, summer means getting out into nature. If you’re excited for camping season, you’ve probably already dusted off the tent and packed up the cooler. But before you head to the campsite, remember these camping safety tips.

Camping safety tip #1: Keep Fuel-Burning Appliances Outside

  • Portable heaters, portable stoves, barbeques, or kerosene lamps should be used outside.
  • Never use them in enclosed areas such as in your RV or tent, or enclosed areas on your boat.  
  • Using these in an enclosed space can cause carbon monoxide (CO) to become trapped. Since CO is odorless and colorless, it might be too late before you realize you've been exposed. 

Camping Safety Tip #2: Pack a Carbon Monoxide Alarm

  • Carbon monoxide (CO) alarms save lives.
  • Put one in your  RV, trailer, cottage, or cabin and make sure it's in good working condition.
  • If you are camping in a tent, bring along a portable, battery-operated CO alarm (while you're at it, bring extra batteries, too!)

Camping Safety Tip #3: Use Propane Safely

  • Transport cylinders upright (never on their side) and ensure they are secured so they can't fall over. 
  • Keep your windows open when travelling with propane.
  • Never attempt to refill a disposable propane cylinder. When they are empty, take your cylinders to the recycling depot.
  • Never put them into the garbage as they can explode if compacted in garbage collection trucks. 

Camping Safety Tip #4: Know the Signs of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

  • Symptoms of CO poisoning can include: light-headedness, headaches, nausea, fatigue, chest pains, vomiting, convulsions, confusion and dizziness. 
  • If you suspect you have been exposed to CO, leave the area immediately and seek medical attention.
  • Pets can exhibit the signs of CO poisoning before humans. Be alert for signs of weakness and unusual lethargy; bright red gums are another sign of potential exposure.