November 2, 2012
With the recent severe weather that has affected the area due to Hurricane Sandy and the potential for more damaging storms later, the West Virginia Poison Control Center has offered tips to those who might have lost power and resorted to using generators for electricity.
Carissa McBurney, WVPC Community Outreach Coordinator, said in a release that carbon monoxide poisoning from improper generator use was a large concern following storms.
“Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that can be emitted when fuels do not burn completely, such as when generators are used inside or too closely to the home,” the release stated. “Carbon monoxide does not signal a problem and can sicken or kill those affected by them. Therefore, generator safety tips are important to know.”
The WVPC suggested the following tips for safely operating generators:
• Carefully follow the manufacturer’s safety instructions for generator use;
• Never use generators indoors, in garages or near open windows;
• Do not siphon gasoline by mouth to fill a generator with fuel;
• Use battery-operated (or battery-backup) carbon monoxide alarms. Be sure to test the batteries regularly;
• If anyone living in the home (including pets) experiences sleepiness, dizziness, headaches, confusion, weakness or your carbon monoxide alarm sounds, immediately seek fresh air and call the WVPC at 1-800-222-1222.
For more information reagrding poison information, prevention and educational resources, call the WVPC or visit www.wvpoisoncenter.org.