Editor's Note: The following information was provided by the New Jersey Poison Information & Education System
SAFE USE OF ELECTRICAL GENERATORS
Portable gas powered generators flew off of the shelves over the past few days. Many new generator owners may not realize the potential dangers of the incorrect use of these units. These units produce high concentrations of carbon monoxide and if not properly placed or installed can cause carbon monoxide buildup and tragedy.
- Do not bring portable gas powered generators into the home or garage!
- Do not place portable gas powered generators outside near any open windows
Portable heaters, stoves and lighting made for camping burn fuel and produce carbon monoxide:
- Do not use propane stoves or lights, kerosene camping stoves or charcoal grills into the house or garage
- Never cook with charcoal indoors.
IF YOU SUSPECT CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION:
- Exit the house/building immediately. Do not waste time opening windows to “air” it out; this will delay your escape and cause you to breathe in more possibly dangerous fumes.
- Contact your local fire department or gas company
- Call the NJ Poison Experts, 800-222-1222, for immediate treatment advice. DO not waste time looking for information on the internet about carbon monoxide poisoning. Call us for fast, free and accurate information.
SAFE USE/STORAGE OF GASOLINE
Do not siphon gas from one place to another:
- Swallowing gas and getting it into your lungs can cause significant injury.
Do not store extra cans or jugs of gas in the home and only use approved gas containers:
- In addition to being a fire hazard, gas fumes can cause someone to develop nausea vomiting and headaches.
LOSS OF REFRIGERATION/FREEZER
With the potential threat of power outages, it is important to be careful about food stored in refrigerators and freezers.
- Fill freezers to capacity, but refrigerators need room for air to circulate
- Refrigerators/freezers will sustain proper temperatures if not opened. Plan opening of either for as few times and as short a period of time as possible.
Help is Just a Phone Call Away!
Our center is Fully Staffed and prepared to Answer Your Questions Throughout This Storm!
If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, or have questions about the safety of an item in your home, call the NJ Poison Experts at (1-800-222-1222).
They are always here to help with accidents or questions involving medicines, chemicals or household products, etc. Help is available in over 150 languages; 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year.
Program the Poison Help line (800-222-1222) into your cell phone and post it near your home and office phones too. There are no silly questions and trained medical staff are always available to answer a question, quell a fear, provide advice, or intervene to get emergency services on site and prepped to provide the needed protocol in the fastest response time. When in doubt, check it out - Prevention is truly the best possible medicine.
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