Keep your eye on the ball with World Cup BBQs this weekend

With England’s quarter final clash with Sweden teaming up with continuing scorching weather tomorrow, the CO Be Alarmed campaign is advising the millions planning World Cup Barbecues how to stay safe.

New research from the campaign reveals that 75% of Britons don’t know that barbecues can lead to potentially fatal CO (Carbon Monoxide) poisoning when not used correctly – being more aware of other risks such as burns, food poisoning and accidents with barbeque implements.

CO Be Alarmed! is therefore advising football fans to follow these simple steps on how to stay CO Safe this weekend:

  • Don’t bring your barbeque into an enclosed space – for example inside a tent or your home. Even when extinguished it will still produce fumes for some time.
  • Always make sure you are in a well-ventilated area when using a barbecue or a gas stove and follow the manufacturers’ safety instructions.
  • Carbon monoxide is known as the ‘silent killer’ because you can’t see it, smell it or taste it, so make sure you know the symptoms – headaches, dizziness, nausea.

Abbie Sampson, Director of External Affairs at Energy UK and CO Be Alarmed! spokesperson, said:

“We’re reminding the millions enjoying World Cup barbecues today not to take their eye off the ball and ensure they celebrate England’s victory safely.

“It’s worrying that so many people don’t know about the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning with barbecues, which even after being extinguished can still produce fumes.

“So – make sure your barbecue is in plenty of space in the middle of the park and even when the game is over, keep it on the pitch.”

The survey reveals that burns (65%), food poisoning (62%), accidental fires (56%), accidents with barbeque implements (36%), alcohol related accidents (33%) all came above carbon monoxide poisoning (25%) in people’s awareness of the potential risks from barbecues. If suffering the symptoms of CO poisoning, 38% of people would think they had food poisoning and 31% sunstroke.

Notes to editors:

  • The research for Carbon Monoxide Be Alarmed! was carried out by Opinium between 29-31 of May 2018 among 2000 UK adults (18+)
  • CO Be Alarmed! is the national campaign to reduce the number of deaths and injuries caused by carbon monoxide. Since 2008, the campaign has encouraged people to install carbon monoxide alarms in their homes. The Carbon Monoxide – Be Alarmed! campaign is run by Energy UK. To find out more about the campaign you can visit
  • Carbon monoxide is produced when fuels such as gas, oil, charcoal, coal and wood do not burn completely. The most common cause of this is when an appliance, such as a boiler or cooker, is installed incorrectly or poorly maintained. Carbon monoxide can also build up when flues, chimneys or vents are blocked.