People who rely on generators during power outages could be putting themselves and their families at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
The Palmetto Poison Center says carbon monoxide poisoning is the most common poison-related cause of hospitalization and death after a hurricane.
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless toxic gas produced when any fuel such as natural gas, propane, gasoline, kerosene, wood, or charcoal is burned.
The gas can build up in enclosed and semi-enclosed spaces, which can be deadly. After a storm, Poison Centers see an increase in poisonings due to improper use of generators in and around the home.
The Palmetto Poison Center recommends the following steps to use a generator safely during a power outage:
Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are similar to the flu or food poisoning.:
If your carbon monoxide alarm goes off, take these steps immediately:
Since you cannot smell, see, or taste carbon monoxide gas, it can kill, and sometimes quickly, experts say.
Carbon monoxide can also cause permanent damage to the brain and other parts of your nervous system. People of all ages can be affected, but infants and children are the most vulnerable.
People with questions can call the Palmetto Poison Center number at 800-222-1222.
Copyright 2018 WCSC. All rights reserved.