MEDICAL experts are asking barbecue enthusiasts to take more care when cooking this summer.

West Midlands Ambulance have issued a number of tips to help prevent people from getting burnt or suffering with carbon monoxide poisoning.

Paramedic John Woodhall said: "We want people to have a nice summer and avoid one of us turning up.

“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.

“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."

Mr Woodhall advised:

  • Only use approved fuels -never use accelerants like petrol to light the barbecue as it's explosive and can burn.
  •  Don't use barbecues in enclosed spaces such as tents to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, which can be fatal if not detected early.
  • Watch out for children and animals when a barbecue is lit.
  •  Always keep a bucket of water nearby just in case.