First, consumers need to be especially careful during a loss of electrical power, as the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and fire increases at that time. About 70 people die every year and many more are injured from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by portable generators. Do not put your family at risk. Follow these important safety tips from CPSC.
-Use generators OUTSIDE ONLY. Portable gasoline generators quickly produce high levels of poisonous carbon monoxide (CO) and should never be used indoors, including inside a home, basement, shed or garage, even if doors or windows are open. CO is an invisible killer. It’s a colorless, odorless, poisonous gas. CO from a generator used indoors can kill you and your family in minutes.
CARBON MONOXIDE ALARMS:
- Install CO alarms with battery backup in the home outside each sleeping area.
- Get to fresh air immediately if you start to feel sick, weak or dizzy. CO poisoning from exposure to generator exhaust can quickly lead to incapacitation and death.
- Never use charcoal indoors. Burning charcoal in an enclosed space can produce lethal levels of carbon monoxide.
- Use caution when burning candles. Use flashlights instead. If you must use candles, do not burn them on or near anything that can catch fire. Never leave burning candles unattended. Extinguish candles when you leave the room.
- Look for signs that your appliances have gotten wet. Discard electrical or gas appliances that have been wet because they pose electric shock and fire hazards.
- Before using your appliances, have a professional or your gas or electric company evaluate your home and replace all gas control valves, electrical wiring, circuit breakers, and fuses that have been under water.
CPSC spokespeople are available for interviews. Call the office of communications to arrange for an interview at 301- 504-7908.
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