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Cold weather means safety risks for BMS campers

By Callan Gray, cgray@wcyb.com
Published On: Mar 12 2014 10:33:55 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 12 2014 11:00:00 PM CDT

Despite the rainy and windy weather campers are still getting ready for the weekend full of big races at Bristol Motor Speedway.  It was a blustery Wednesday evening as fans settled in for the weekend.

BRISTOL, Tenn. -

Despite the rainy and windy weather campers are still getting ready for the weekend full of big races at Bristol Motor Speedway.  

It was a blustery Wednesday evening as fans settled in for the weekend.

"We've got a couple of propane heaters and heat in the RV," said Cody Weiss, a camper from Kentucky.

We talked to Weiss as he helped set up the propane heaters to warm his group's outdoor area.

He told us they've been using a generator to heat the inside of their campers.

"We don't have any power out here so everyone is running a generator," said Weiss.

Fire crews told us, if you're not careful, both propane heaters and generators can put you on the fast track to the hospital. Propane leaks are highly flammable and generators have their own dangers.

"Those generators will produce carbon monoxide, the exhaust off of those," said Tommy Castle, with the Bristol Tennessee Fire Department.

Castle said if generators are too close to nearby tents or RV's, the exhaust will also put other campers at risk.

"If you have to place it close, a lot of people will run an exhaust extension where they can get the exhaust out of the way where it's in a good natural air flow," said Castle. "The natural air flow can take the carbon monoxide away."

Back in the campground Weiss told us they pointed their exhaust pipe away from the RV.

They also had a carbon monoxide detector inside but they quickly learned a lesson about making sure you test the equipment.

"We were just setting this one up and checking the detector and it did have the batteries pulled out of it," said Weiss.

He suggests that other campers check their detectors before they leave home.

We're told race fans who plan to drink alcohol this weekend should be extra careful because they may not notice the symptoms carbon monoxide poisoning.

The symptoms are a headache, reddening of the skin, and flu-like symptoms.