WASHINGTON, Feb. 2, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is issuing a warning to consumers confronted with severe winter weather throughout the United States. When there's a power outage, be cautious when using portable generators.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is an invisible killer. You can't see or smell it. A generator's exhaust contains poisonous CO which can kill you in a matter of minutes.
At least 64 people died in 2007 from generator-related CO poisoning. Many of the deaths occurred after winter storms knocked out power.
Follow these important generator safety tips:
- Never use a portable generator inside a home, garage, shed or other partially enclosed space, even if doors and windows are open.
- Use portable generators outside only, far away from the home. And keep the generator away from openings to the home, including doors, windows and vents.
- Read the label on the generator and the owner's manual, and follow the instructions.
- Install CO alarms with battery backup in the home outside each sleeping area.
- Get to fresh air immediately if you start to feel sick, weak or dizzy. CO poisoning from exposure to generator exhaust can quickly lead to incapacitation and death.
In addition to safe generator use, CPSC advises:
- Never burn charcoal indoors. Burning charcoal in an enclosed space can produce lethal carbon monoxide.
- Use caution when burning candles. Use flashlights instead. If you must use candles, do not burn them on or near anything that can catch fire. Never leave burning candles unattended. Extinguish candles when you leave the room.
CPSC Media Contact: 301-504-7908
SOURCE U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission