The imminent threat of Hurricane Irene is gone, but the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and deadly fires is ever-present in the wake of natural disasters, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
Many residents will experience a loss of electrical power after disasters like Hurricane Irene. As a result, people will use gas-powered generators in order to keep power running in their homes. However, the exhaust from portable generators contains dangerously high levels of carbon monoxide. The CPSC cautions people never to run a portable generator indoors or inside a garage or shed.
Carbon monoxide is odorless, colorless and can render someone unconscious in a matter of minutes. High levels of exposure usually results in death. The CPSC recommends that you install a carbon monoxide alarm inside your home. Homeowners should have an alarm on every level of their house and the CPSC recommends changing the batteries every year.
In lieu of candles in a power outage, the CPSC recommends flashlights. If you must use candles, you should not place them near anything that can catch fire such as furniture and drapery. Never leave a burning candle unattended, says the CPSC.
Approved by attorney David Schloss