Carbon Monoxide Can Be a Silent Killer

ARTICLE | Apr 15, 2015

Hurricane season and the accompanying power outages will be upon us sooner than we think. In communities across the United States, residents use generators to provide power when their power source is down. Used properly, generators are a great source of electricity during an outage, but they also pose serious, even fatal, risks when used improperly.

Because carbon monoxide is invisible, odorless, and colorless, it’s critical to have a detector properly installed in homes and businesses. Carbon monoxide is generated by wood, coal, natural gas, propane, methane, and other fuel sources are burned. Alternative cooking methods such as wood and charcoal are often used during outages, but they produce carbon monoxide and can lead to death if used indoors or in an unventilated space, such as a garage.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that the older population is particularly vulnerable to death by carbon monoxide poisoning. 

Here are some resources available for your community:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Toolkit

American Red Cross

National Fire Protection Association

International Code Council

City of Davis, CA, Public Education Program

City of Cincinnati, OH, smoke and carbon monoxide alarm information

National Conference of State Legislators




You may also be interested in