In the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and with winter storms heading our way, portable generator use is on the rise. However, generators can pose many safety risks, including carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning deaths. The Consumer Product Safety Commission is warning consumers to take three critical precautions to prevent loss of life from poisonous carbon monoxide when using a portable generator:
1. Never use a portable generator inside your home. One portable generator can emit the same amount of deadly carbon monoxide gas as hundreds of mid-size cars. Just as you would not leave a car running in a closed garage, do not run a generator inside a garage, home, shed or near open windows or vents.
2. Portable generators need air and distance. Place generators outdoors only, at least 20 feet away from your home.
3. Carbon monoxide is called the "invisible killer." This deadly gas is colorless and odorless and can quickly incapacitate and kill you and your family in minutes. A working CO alarm can detect high levels of the gas in your home. If it goes off, do not ignore it. Get out, then call 911.
Source: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
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