The Pennsylvania State Police would like to remind all those who have portable generators to be mindful of the dangers of carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxides is a colorless, odorless gas that is found in the fumes produced when fuel is burned in things like cars, trucks, small engines, stoves, grills, fireplaces, hot water heaters, and generators. The gas can build up indoors and poison people and animals who inhale it. According to the CDC—the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the most common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. People often mistake such symptoms for influenza.
To reduce the risk, residents are reminded of the following:
- Generators should never be run indoors (including crawl spaces, basements, sheds, or garages).
- Generators should be kept a minimum of 20 feet from the home, away from windows and vents
- The Pennsylvania Department of Health recommends installing a battery-operated or battery back-up carbon monoxide detector near every sleeping area in your home. Check them regularly to ensure they are working properly.
For more information on carbon monoxide safety, visit www.health.pa.gov, www.cdc.gov, or www.CPSC.gov; keywords “carbon monoxide.” Click here to see the PASP bulletin.