As we move into the prime months for tropical storms and hurricanes, it is important to consider the potential dangers of power outages caused by these storms. According to the National Weather Service, carbon monoxide poisoning is one of the leading causes of death in areas affected by power outages after storms. Using alternative sources of power during an outage could cause carbon monoxide to build up in your home, and potentially poison those inside.
Carbon Monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas with the potential to kill or seriously harm without warning. Although hundreds of deaths in the U.S. occur from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning each year, they are preventable.
When using a generator as an alternate source of power during an outage, keep the following tips from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in mind.
- Never use a generator inside your home or garage. Use your generator outside and at least 20 feet away from your home.
- If you have not done so already, install a battery- operated carbon monoxide detector near sleeping areas in your home.
- Check your detectors every six months to make sure they are working properly.
Common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include dizziness, nausea, headache and confusion. If you believe you may be experiencing carbon monoxide poisoning, seek immediate medical attention and get some fresh air.
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