Acadian: Generator safety and understanding carbon monoxide poisoning

Posted at 1:47 PM, Aug 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-28 14:47:47-04

Acadian Ambulance is reminding local residents to pay attention to signs of Carbon Monoxide poisoning especially where it pertains to generator use while power is being restored.

In the aftermath Hurricane Laura, Acadian Ambulance is urging the public to practice proper generator usage and safety.

  • Never run a generator in an enclosed space or indoors. Always place the generator at least 20 feet from the house with the engine exhaust directed away from windows and doors.
  • Don’t connect your generator directly to your home’s wiring.
  • Don’t plug a portable generator into an electrical outlet in your home or garage.
  • Don’t run a portable generator in the rain.
  • Before refueling, turn off a gas-powered generator and let it cool.
  • Stock up on extra gasoline, but do not store it indoors.
  • Buy a generator with built-in CO safety technology.

Running generators inside a closed space presents a serious danger of carbon monoxide poisoning. Over the past several days the Crowley Fire Department has responded to four calls of CO emergencies, read more here.

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas. Improperly ventilated appliances and engines, including generators, particularly in a tightly sealed or enclosed space, can allow carbon monoxide to accumulate to dangerous levels. Having a working carbon monoxide detector in your home is extremely important.

Signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning may include:

  • Dull headache
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Confusion
  • Blurred vision
  • Loss of consciousness

Acadian says that carbon monoxide poisoning can be particularly dangerous for people who are sleeping or intoxicated. People may have irreversible brain damage or even die before anyone realizes there's a problem.

If you think you or someone you're with may have carbon monoxide poisoning, get into fresh air and call 911.

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