BRITISH Gas is advising holidaymakers to be alert to the danger posed by carbon monoxide this summer.

Carbon Monoxide is a tasteless, odourless gas produced by burning fossil fuels such as gas, coal, oil and wood. Without adequate ventilation, Carbon Monoxide poisoning can cause flu-like symptoms and, in severe cases, prove fatal.

Chris Bielby, head of safety at British Gas, said: “We want people to have a safe, enjoyable holiday. "Incidents of CO poisoning are thankfully rare, but this shouldn’t stop families being vigilant.

"A few simple checks on arrival at your destination can put minds at rest and allow you to concentrate on enjoying the rest of your holidays.”

British Gas has issued the following advice.

1: Check your travel agent’s / tour operator’s safety credentials: If travelling abroad, ensure your travel company is a member of The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA). Reputable companies will have procedures in place to ensure accommodation is inspected prior to your arrival. If you are staying in rented accommodation in the UK, ask your landlord whether any gas appliances have been checked. Landlords are required by law to undertake annual service checks and should have a safety certificate displayed to prove this.

2: Be Alert: Look out for staining, sooting and discolouration on or around your boiler, fire and water heater. Also be aware that Carbon Monoxide could seep through from other rooms so it is also important to know the symptoms.

3: Know the symptoms: If you feel unwell - flu symptoms, headache, tiredness whilst you are indoors, but feel better when you are outdoors, speak to the hotel or tour operator.

Tell them what you think it could be, and seek medical advice.

4: Don’t block the ventilation in the room: Never dry clothes on an electric heater or anywhere where ventilation could be impaired.

5: Purchase an audible Carbon Monoxide alarm which carries a British Standard or kitemark: A Carbon Monoxide detector with an alarm should be an essential component of your holiday safety kit along with sun cream and a hat.