After the Storm CO Can Kill

The potential for harm from severe weather can last even after the storm passes. Rod Rice reports that the Federal Emergency Management Agency says too many people die from carbon monoxide poisoning from the improper use of generators.

"Carbon monoxide can not be see or smelled"

And that is what makes it a killer says FEMA's Erica Lopez.  It can build to dangerous levels very quickly.

"If they start to feel sick, dizzy or weak while using a generator they need to immediately step out into fresh air. Do not hesitate, do not delay, and if someone else has collapsed or is not breathing call 9-1-1."

This is dangerous situation happens if generators are run inside.

"Always locate the unit outside in a well ventilated area approximately ten-feet away from your home or structure."

If the generator is to close to a building the fumes can be drawn into it.  And, running one in a garage with the door open is not an option.

"No that's not good enough.  If the garage door is open there are still other walls around that garage unit and it's in a somewhat confined, closed area."

FEMA says they must always be outside, not in a crawl space or a basement, not in a tent or any confined or partially confined space.  In fact anything that burns, like a charcoal or gas grills must never be inside. The colorless, order less carbon monoxide builds and kills quickly.

Lopez says every home should have battery powered carbon monoxide alarms to warn against dangerous levels of the deadly fumes.

Bio photo of Rod Rice

Rod Rice

Local Anchor, Morning Edition

Rod Rice became fascinated with radio at an early age, while sitting on his Grandfather’s lap listening to his "programs" on the big Emerson Radio...