Release date: December 20, 2019
Release number: 20-048

Release Details

WASHINGTON, D.C.  – The weather outside may be frightful – with snow, ice and freezing temperatures, but the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) wants to remind families to remain vigilant about safety in and around the home this winter. Here are three winter hazards to keep in mind.

First, Carbon Monoxide – The Invisible Killer

  • Use portable generators outside your home and place them at least 20 feet away from the residence with exhaust pointed away from spaces where it can gather and present a hazard. Never use a generator inside a home, basement, shed or garage. The exhaust from portable generators contains poisonous carbon monoxide (CO), which can kill in minutes. 

  • Most portable generator-related deaths from CO poisoning occur during the cold months. 

  • Never leave a car running in a garage, even with the garage door open.

  • Install CO alarms in your home on every level and outside all sleeping areas. Test CO alarms monthly. 

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Second, Space Heaters – Give Them Space

  • Your space heater needs space. Keep flammable objects, such as curtains, sofas, beds, clothes and papers at least 3 feet away from your space heater at all times.

  • Make sure your space heater is placed on a stable, level, flat surface in an area where it can’t be knocked over.

  • Turn off space heaters when you are sleeping, or when you leave the room. 

  • Install smoke alarms on every floor of your home, outside all sleeping areas, and inside each bedroom. Test smoke alarms once a month to make sure they are working.

 

Third, Snow Blower Hazards – Clear Snow Safely 

  • Most snow blower injuries happen when consumers try to clear snow from the discharge chute with their hands.

  • NEVER leave a gas-powered snow blower running in an enclosed area. The exhaust contains poisonous carbon monoxide, which can kill in minutes.

  • Don’t add gasoline to a running or hot engine, to avoid a fire; and always keep the gasoline in a portable gasoline container with a child-resistant closure to prevent child poisonings.

Remember, warm up to CPSC’s safety tips, and avoid tragedies in the home this winter.

For more information, visit www.cpsc.gov

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