MIDDLETOWN, NJ - The MTFD responded to 93 Tropical Storm Isaias related incidents in a 37-hour period. 37 (40%) of those calls were for Carbon Monoxide (CO) detector activation. Generators emit exhaust containing carbon monoxide - the same stuff that kills people who leave their car running in the garage. Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas. It’s also a very deadly gas because most victims don’t realize they are being poisoned until it's too late. Portable generators are responsible for more than 900 people dying of carbon monoxide poisoning from portable generators between 2005 and 2017, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Hurricane season is fast approaching, followed by winter weather which may also affect the power to your house the MTFD is asking your help to please follow these safety tips covering CO Detector maintenance and generator safety use to prevent CO from entering your house.
- Never run a generator in an enclosed space or indoors.
- That includes the basement or garage, spaces that can capture deadly levels of carbon monoxide. Always place the generator at least 20 feet from the house with the engine exhaust directed away from windows and doors.
- Contrary to popular myth, keeping the garage door open does not provide enough ventilation to keep the fumes outside.
- Purchase a (CO) detector. Since your power will be going on and off, get one with a plug and battery backup. That way, if you shut off the generator, the battery backup will automatically keep the device going.
The MTFD is not trying to run your life. We’re begging you to be responsible and not put yourself or your family at risk!
One last safety tip, the traffic cones are placed to protect you from a potentially dangerous situation, you going around them could put you in a situation in which your all volunteer firefighters might have to risk their lives to save you. Please understand the cones are there to protect YOU!