The CVFD would like to remind everyone about the dangers of Carbon Monoxide (CO). As a result of devastating Hurricane Irma, several CO related deaths have been reported throughout Florida. Most often the CO is from portable generators being used indoors, or too close to doors or windows.
Since CO has no odor, color or taste, it cannot be detected by our senses. This means that dangerous concentrations of the gas can build up indoors and humans have no way to detect the problem until they become ill. CO mixes equally with air, meaning it doesn’t necessarily rise into the atmosphere or “pool” in lower spaces. It is produced from incomplete burning of fuels. All fuel burning motors and appliances, non-electric grills and heaters. Some cause greater amounts than others.
Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide poisoning are:
- Dull headache
- Nausea or vomiting
- Shortness of breath
- Blurred vision
- Loss of consciousness
Especially during times of extreme conditions such as severe storms and prolonged power outages, CO poisonings increase as folks try to find ways to power the most basic appliances. Lives are turned upside down and fire safety isn’t always their first concern. Sadly, this is a time where folks are most vulnerable.
As we live in a hurricane and tropical storm prone area, please keep the following tips in mind to reduce the chance of being poisoned or even killed by Carbon Monoxide:
- Items such as camp stoves, charcoal grills, fuel-burning lanterns and generators should never be used inside. That includes RV’s and tents.
- Install CO detectors with a battery backup. (Smoke alarms too!)
- Have your generator serviced regularly. A poorly running engine can produce a substantial amount of CO.
- Don’t use generators or run engines in a garage.
- Keep generators away from doors and windows as CO could enter your house through openings.
- Make sure you use extension cords of the proper size and length for the electrical load needed.
Also, store containers of gasoline or LP gas outdoors.