A few days ago, we blogged about the dangers of carbon monoxide after a hurricane and the importance of using power generators carefully and correctly. Sadly, the news media is reporting that several people affected by Hurricane Irene have been sickened by or died from carbon monoxide poisoning. In several cases, the generators were placed – incorrectly – in the garages; others had faulty ventilation systems.
If you are using a generator, be sure to follow these safety tips from your local poison centers:
- Carefully follow the manufacturer’s safety instructions for portable generators.
- Never use portable generators indoors, in garages or near open windows.
- Do not siphon gasoline by mouth to fill a generator with fuel.
- Use battery-operated (or battery-backup) carbon monoxide alarms. Be sure to test the batteries.
- If you experience sleepiness, dizziness, headaches, confusion, weakness or your carbon monoxide alarm sounds, immediately seek fresh air and call your poison center at 1-800-222-1222.
Read more here.
Here are some links to news stories about carbon monoxide poisonings in recent days.
- A Virginia man was overcome by carbon monoxide from a generator in his garage.
- A Maryland man died and several others were hospitalized because of carbon monoxide poisoning.
- A Pennsylvania couple died at their summer home in Maine because of a faulty ventilation system .
- Two people in Virginia were treated for carbon monoxide poisoning from a generator placed outside near a window.
Please heed these warnings and use generators safely. Stay safe and stay healthy!
The American Association of Poison Control Centers supports the nation’s 57 poison centers in their efforts to prevent and treat poison exposures. Poison centers offer free, private, expert medical advice 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We take calls in more than 150 languages and from the hearing impaired.
For questions about poison or if you think someone has been exposed to a poison, call 1-800-222-1222 to reach your local poison center.