Anytime you burn fuel in an enclosed space, you need to be conscious of the dangers of carbon monoxide. This gas is difficult to detect—it’s odourless and colourless—and the symptoms of exposure are similarly hard to identify, since they’re so varied even a hypochondriac would have trouble keeping them all straight: headache, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, shortness of breath, confusion, chest pain, depression, hallucinations, agitation, loss of memory and fainting. It’s the last one you need to be most concerned about. If you lose consciousness and no one else is wise to the situation, you’ll continue breathing the gas, and never wake up.

The first step in protecting yourself is to be vigilant about potentially dangerous situations. Remember that anyone in your vicinity will also be at risk, so talk to them about the danger; they won’t be able to save you if they need saving themselves. Next, be on the watch for any of the admittedly varied symptoms in yourself and others. The last step is to err on the side of caution and get yourself into fresh air, and possible medical treatment, as soon as you suspect exposure.