June 1st marks the start of hurricane season. As you put your hurricane plan in place to protect your family and your home, CPSC is urging consumers to include a plan for after the storm.
If a storm knocks out power, consumers who use portable gasoline generators to restore power can place themselves at risk for carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Only use portable generators outdoors, far away from the doors, windows and vents of indoor spaces. Generators should never be used indoors, including inside homes, garages, basements, crawlspaces and sheds.
The amount of CO from one generator is equivalent to hundreds of idling cars in a garage and can kill consumers in minutes. At least 65 people died from CO poisoning associated with portable generators in 2006.
CPSC also advises consumers to keep charcoal grills outside. Never use them indoors. Burning charcoal in an enclosed space can produce lethal levels of CO.
If flooding occurs after a storm, do not use gas or electrical appliances or equipment that has been submerged. The electrical components and safety controls may be damaged and burner parts may be plugged with debris, leading to a fire risk. Have fireplaces, furnaces, and other heating equipment inspected by a professional to make sure they are working properly.
CPSC recommends that consumers install CO alarms in their homes as a line of defense against CO poisoning. Battery operated CO alarms or plug-in alarms with battery back-up add an important layer of protection in consumers’ homes. Remember to replace CO alarm batteries annually.
For more information on protecting your family against CO poisoning, visit www.cpsc.gov/CPSCPUB/PUBS/464.pdf and www.cpsc.gov/CPSCPUB/PUBS/468.html
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of the thousands of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $900 billion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical or mechanical hazard. CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters and household chemicals - contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.
Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly-announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.
To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury go online to www.SaferProducts.gov or call CPSC's Hotline at (800) 638-2772 or teletypewriter at (301) 595-7054 for the hearing impaired. Consumers can obtain news release and recall information at www.cpsc.gov, on Twitter @OnSafety or by subscribing to CPSC's free e-mail newsletters.