CPSC delivers life-saving advice to millions without electricity after deadly tornadoes hit several states
WASHINGTON, December 14, 2021 / PRNewswire / – The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is aware of the vast devastation caused by the deadly tornadoes that swept through several states over the weekend. As affected communities experience power outages, the CPSC urges consumers to take action to prevent further harm and reminds them to protect themselves against carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning and fires.
Loss of Power â Using a Generator Safely
Consumers should be especially careful during a power outage. Many use portable generators and other devices as sources of electricity and heat, putting themselves at increased risk of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning and fire. Consumers who plan to use a portable generator in the event of a power failure should follow these tips:
- Always operate portable generators outdoors, at least 20 feet from the house, and direct the generator exhaust away from the house and any other buildings that someone might enter.
- Never use a portable generator inside a home, garage, basement, crawl space, shed, or on a porch. Opening doors or windows will not provide sufficient ventilation to prevent the build-up of lethal levels of CO.
- Verify that portable generators have been properly maintained, and read and follow labels, instructions, and warnings on the generator and in the owner’s manual.
- The CPSC urges consumers to research and ask retailers for a portable generator equipped with a safety device to automatically shut off when high concentrations of CO are present around the generator. Some models with CO cut also have reduced emissions; consumers should also look for these models. These models may or may not be advertised as certified to meet the latest safety standards for portable generators – PGMA G300-2018 and UL 2201.
The poisonous carbon monoxide from a portable generator can kill in minutes. CO is an invisible killer. It is colorless and odorless. From 2010 to 2020, the CPSC estimates that more than 700 people died from CO poisoning associated with generators, more than 50 in 2020. CO poisoning from portable generators can occur so quickly that people exposed may pass out before recognizing symptoms of nausea, dizziness or weakness.
To avoid carbon monoxide poisoning:
- Install battery-operated CO alarms or CO alarms with battery back-up in the home, outside separate sleeping areas and on each level of the house.
- Make sure home CO detectors are working properly by pressing the test button and replacing the batteries, if necessary. Never ignore a carbon monoxide alarm when it sounds. Get out immediately. Then call 911.
Dangers of charcoal and candles
- Never use charcoal indoors. Burning charcoal in an enclosed space can produce lethal levels of carbon monoxide. Do not cook on a charcoal barbecue in a garage, even with the door open.
- Be careful when burning candles. Instead, use flashlights. If you use candles, do not burn them on or near anything that could catch fire. Never leave burning candles unattended. Extinguish candles when leaving the room and before sleeping.
- Make sure that smoke detectors are installed on every level of the house and inside every bedroom. Never ignore a sounding smoke alarm. Get out immediately. Call 911.
Carbon Monoxide Safety Center
Links to stream quality media videos:
Tornado safety b roller: https://spaces.hightail.com/space/oy0kSjsyzz
for more information, contact Nicolette nye at: [emailÂ protected], or at: 240-204-4410.
About the US CPSC
The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from the unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products. Deaths, injuries and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the country more than 1000 billion dollars annually. The work of the CPSC to ensure the safety of consumer products has contributed to a decline in the rate of injuries associated with consumer products for almost 50 years.
Federal law prohibits anyone from selling products that are the subject of a voluntary recall announced publicly by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.
For vital information:
Version number: 22-031
SOURCE United States Consumer Product Safety Commission