THE ROBINSON REPORT #10: Keep the Warmth in and Carbon Monoxide out!

Winter is coming and, for some, it is already here! For those of you living in places like Boston, Chicago, Denver, Milwaukee, Detroit, and New York, winter storms, cold weather, and snow will likely bring power outages your way. When the power is out and the temperature in your house plummets, it is understandable that you may want to use a portable generator.  However, using a portable generator can be very dangerous

It is important to know that portable generators produce Carbon Monoxide (CO) as a byproduct of bringing electricity to your home. CO is an invisible and odorless gas that can kill or seriously injure you and your family.

Over 800 people died in this country alone of CO poisoning between 2004 and 2014. Of the 35 CO fatalities that occurred in 2014, 28 were associated with the use of a portable generator.

To use your portable generator safely, please do the following.

Portable Generator First, be sure you have working CO alarms:
* CO alarms should be placed near all of the bedrooms

* There should be a CO alarm located on every level of your home

* You should press the alarm test button every month to be sure each alarm is working

* The batteries should be changed every year

* The entire CO alarm unit should be replaced at least every decade


For more information on CO alarms, please see this NFPA/CPSC Poster, the CPSC CO Toolkit, and this CO Safety Video

Second, place your portable generator in a safe place. You can safely use your portable generator, but it MUST be OUTSIDE and at least 20 feet away from the house. Even keeping it in the garage or outside near an open window can kill you. A portable generator needs plenty of space around it so that the CO can dissipate into the open air.

And, third, before turning your generator on, check that there haven’t been any recalls announced for either your portable generator or your CO alarm.

As long as you use your portable generators properly and maintain your CO alarms, you can be both warm and safe, regardless of the weather outside this winter!

#WinterIsComing #OutsmartCO

Happy Holidays!


Below view the 2015 CO poster contest winners:

  • CO poster contest winner: Carbon Monoxide Dangers
    Artist: Darcy, a 6th grader from North Carolina
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