Carbon Monoxide and generator winter safety
As we have seen here in Buffalo, NY and elsewhere in the U.S. this winter, winter storms can cause power outages. Power outages are dangerous especially when the temperature dips below freezing. The elderly and infants are especially susceptible to cold related injuries.
Having a generator is a good part of a families emergency plan for power outages when heat is an absolute must. However, generators can be deadly.
Generators create Carbon Monoxide (CO) which can not be seen and has no odor. Make sure to never run a generator inside your home or garage. Run generators at least 20 feet away from your home and not near windows or vents.
Make sure your home is equipped with Carbon Monoxide alarms outside every sleeping area in your home. These alarms should also be used in all homes whether they have generators or not. If these alarms go off, do not ignore them, get out of the house and call 911. Remember that the Carbon Monoxide has no odor, so get you, your family and if possible, your pets out of the home.
For some startling statistics which drive home the importance of CO alarms and safe generator use, please visit the CPSC website.