Carbon monoxide poisonings in Connecticut
underscore importance of generator and grill safety
WHAT: As clean up from the season’s first Nor’easter continues, many residents
are relying on portable generators for electricity and gas/charcoal grills for heat
and food preparation. When faced with trying circumstances, it is imperative
that residents act cautiously to protect themselves from the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO).
Called the “silent killer,” carbon monoxide is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in America, according to the Centers for Disease Control. You can’t smell it, see it or taste it. It kills more than 400 people every year and sends more than 20,000 people to the emergency room.
When portable generators, gas/charcoal grills and candles are used improperly, these items can significantly increase the risk of a house fire or carbon monoxide poisoning.
HOW: Without a carbon monoxide alarm, you may never even know carbon monoxide is in the air, slowly doing its lethal work with every breath you take. Here are some important safety tips:
- Install battery-operated CO alarms on every floor and in sleeping areas to protect your family during power outages.
- For homes with carbon monoxide alarms installed five or more years ago, it is time to replace those alarms to help ensure protection from the silent killer.
- Only operate generators outdoors in well-ventilated, dry areas, away from air intakes to the home and protected from direct exposure to rain. Don’t run portable generators on a porch, in an attached garage, basement or near an open window where wind could blow carbon monoxide fumes into the home.
- Follow the manufacturers’ instructions when using generators. Use the appropriate sized and type power cords. Overloaded or covered cords could overheat and cause fires.
- Do not use a charcoal or gas grill inside your home or outside near a window where CO fumes could seep into your home.
- Never leave a car running in an attached garage, even with the door open.
- Ensure that storm debris hasn’t blocked or sealed shut exhaust flues or ducts for appliances such as water heaters, ranges and clothes dryers, or blocked your vehicle’s tailpipe, which could cause CO fumes to build up inside the vehicle.
- Extinguish all candles before going to sleep and when leaving the house or a room where a candle is burning for a long period of time.
For more information on Kidde and fire/CO safety during a storm-related power outage, visit www.kidde.com.