Special Note: Make sure your generator is at least 6 feet away and exhausting away from the house with the wind blowing fumes in the opposite direction
If you have lost power or know anyone who has, and are using a portable gas generator PLEASE TAKE PRECAUTIONS. Not properly using gas powered equipment can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers.
Mass power outages such as the one we are seeing now with Hurricane Sandy, cause a need and surge of alternate power/heating options including charcoal and gas grills, gas stoves and mostly, gas generators. Carbon Monoxide (CO) production occurs any time fuels such as oil, gas, kerosene, propane, wood and charcoal are burned.
CO levels can build up quickly to extremely high levels and without a working CO Detector, it comes without warning. Carbon Monoxide does not have a smell or taste which makes it such a life threatening gas when not vented properly. Even at moderate levels CO exposure can cause headaches, dizziness, fatigue and nausea. At high levels, it is fatal. People who are sleeping may never become aware of their symptoms and may pass away from carbon monoxide poisoning.
The best way to protect yourself and your family from this, is with a carbon monoxide detector, which in most cases due to the mass power outage is not an option due to short battery backup life. If you are currently running equipment that emits CO while out of power, we urge you to have a battery operated carbon monoxide detector that is monitored regularly to make sure it’s functioning properly, especially when going to sleep at night. This also goes for smoke alarm devices.
Were you effected by Hurricane Sandy? How long were you or have you been out of power?
Image Credit: BaltimoreSun.com