So, you’re all set for fall camping. You’ve got extra blankets, a few jackets, and the old propane tank is full and ready to go, right? Wrong, according to the Coalition for Portable Propane Product Safety.
The Coalition warns that many campers aren’t as familiar as they should be with the care and safety required when using portable propane-fueled products in enclosed spaces like tents, truck campers or RVs.
“Many of these products are designed for outdoor use only,” said Dennis Pavan of the Coalition. “While they provide a great level of comfort and convenience, campers need to be aware that improper use of propane-fueled products inside enclosures could result in carbon monoxide poisoning.”
Outdoor appliances such as lanterns, stoves and portable heaters operate by combustion of propane fuel and oxygen. Combustion produces carbon monoxide. The greatest risk of carbon monoxide poisoning occurs when campers use a propane-fueled product as an overnight heat source in an enclosed space, even one with windows open.
Carbon monoxide is invisible, tasteless and odorless. Signs of carbon monoxide poisoning include:
- Headache, dizziness and drowsiness.
- Nausea, vomiting and extreme sleepiness.
- Heart flutter, shortness of breath.
Carbon monoxide poisoning can result in unconsciousness and death. Be sure to use only installed propane furnaces in your RVs, and always have an operational carbon monoxide detector installed.
The Coalition has a free brochure on propane safety available by calling 1-888-226-7487, or visit the Coalition web site at www.propaneproducts.org