Current Students and Staff

// University News

10 Jun 2015

Raising awareness of a ‘silent killer’ – Loughborough student unveils an innovative camping heater

A Loughborough design student has created a unique camping accessory that can warm a tent for up to five hours – as part of a drive to help keep campers safe from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. 

Holly Freemantle, 22, a final year Industrial Design and Technology undergraduate from Somerset, came up with the idea for a portable camping heater – called HEATA™ – after reading about the death of a teenage girl who died from CO poisoning after her family brought a disposable barbeque into their tent to keep warm. 

CO is called the ‘silent killer’ because you can’t see it, taste it or smell it, which means it can kill quickly without warning. CO is released when a carbon-containing fuel such as gas, oil, coal, coke, petrol or wood, does not burn fully because not enough air is available. 

HEATA™ will be exhibited to the public at the Loughborough University Design School Show from Friday 12 June to Monday 15 June, 10am until 5pm. 

The prototype consists of soapstone block which is placed on to a barbeque to heat up before being transferred with a handheld transporter and guard to a case made of toughened glass and PET, which has a high melting point. The soapstone block is capable of reaching temperatures of up to 320C, which is why the casing contains a door and fire retardant carry handle. 

Holly, who lived in a tent for three months last summer, said her initial idea was for a portable CO alarm for camping, but she progressed this into  a design to help address the real problem – how to heat a tent in a safe and sustainable way. Further safety tests will be needed should the design go into production.

Read the press release for a video demonstration and more information.