Carbon monoxide (CO) has been called a silent killer for several reasons. CO has no smell to it and there are many ways it can enter your environment. Something as simple as forgetting to turn off the car has caused CO deaths. When the poisonous fumes seep through the home, the symptoms mimic other illnesses such as a migraine or the flu.
CO hazards as people who deal with snow and cold weather, but generator usage during hurricane season puts us at risk. Read below for more details to help protect your home and family.
Avoid Carbon Monoxide (CO)
Portable generators can produce high levels of CO very quickly. You cannot smell or see CO, so even if you do not smell exhaust fumes, you may be exposed. Call the poison center 24/7 at 1-800-222-1222 for questions.
If you start to feel sick, dizzy, weak, or have a bad headache while using a generator, get to fresh air immediately. If you have fainting, chest pain or difficulty breathing, get medical attention right away. Inform medical staff that CO poisoning is suspected. If the symptoms occurred while indoors, call the fire department to determine if it is safe to re-enter the building.
Follow the instructions that come with your generator. Never use a generator indoors or in partially enclosed spaces, including homes, garages, basements, crawl spaces, and other enclosed or partially enclosed areas, even with ventilation. Opening doors and windows or using fans will not prevent CO build-up in the home. Locate the unit outdoors and away from doors, windows, and vents that could allow CO to come indoors. Install battery-operated or plug-in CO alarms with battery back up in your home.