NAPLES, Fla. — With tropical storm watches and flood warnings in Southwest Florida, it’s understandable to be concerned about potential power outages.
Some people turn to generators when the power goes out, but Florida Health is warning people to be careful while using one at their residence.
Portable generators can produce high levels of carbon very quickly. Carbon monoxide, while invisible, odorless, and tasteless, is extremely poisonous.
To avoid and prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, here are some recommendations from the Collier Department of Health:
NEVER use a generator indoors, including in homes, garages, basements, crawl spaces, and other enclosed or partially enclosed areas even with ventilation.
ALWAYS locate the generator outdoors on a dry surface away from doors, windows, vents and air conditioning equipment that could allow carbon to come indoors. The generator should be AT LEAST 20 FEET away from the house.
If you or anyone around you starts to feel sick, dizzy or weak while using a generator, get fresh air RIGHT AWAY with no delay.
If you have a poisoning emergency, call the nearest Florida Poison Information Center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim collapsed or is not breathing, call 911 immediately.
Symptoms from exposure include fatigue, weakness, shortness of breath upon exertion, nausea, vomiting, headaches, confusion, lack of coordination, impaired vision, loss of consciousness and, in severe cases, death.
For more information, go to Florida Health Collier’s website.