FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 8, 2005
CONTACT: Lindsay Hodges (850) 245-4111
**HURRICANE DENNIS INFORMATION SHEET**
Health Officials Warn of Carbon
--Generator safety precautions can help prevent poisoning--
Tallahassee – As Floridians begin the task of
preparing for Hurricane Dennis, the Florida Department of
Health (DOH) is urging the public to avoid carbon monoxide
(CO) exposure by taking precautions with gas-powered
appliances and charcoal or gas grills.
Carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless, tasteless gas,
and is highly poisonous. Depending on the level of exposure,
CO may cause fatigue, weakness, chest pains for those with
heart disease, shortness of breath upon exertion, nausea,
vomiting, headaches, confusion, lack of coordination,
impaired vision, loss of consciousness, and in severe cases,
DOH recommends the following precautions to help prevent
carbon monoxide poisoning:
- Do not burn charcoal or gas grills inside a house,
garage, vehicle, tent or fireplace.
- NEVER use a generator indoors, including in homes,
garages, basements, crawl spaces, and other enclosed or
partially enclosed areas, even with ventilation. Opening
doors and windows or using fans will not prevent CO
build-up in the home.
- ALWAYS locate the unit outdoors on a dry surface,
away from doors, windows, vents, and air conditioning
equipment that could allow CO to come indoors.
- Follow the instructions that come with your
generator. Locate the unit outdoors and away from doors,
windows, vents, and air conditioning equipment that
could allow CO to come indoors.
- Install battery-operated CO alarms or plug-in CO
alarms with battery back-up in your home, according to
the manufacturer’s installation instructions. The CO
alarms should be certified to the requirements of the
latest safety standards for CO alarms (UL 2034, IAS
6-96, or CSA 6.19.01).
- Test your CO alarms frequently and replace dead
- Remember that you cannot see or smell CO and
portable generators can produce high levels of CO very
- If you start to feel sick, dizzy, or weak while
using a generator, get to fresh air RIGHT AWAY. DO NOT
- If you have a poisoning emergency, call your
nearest Florida Poison Information Center at
1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not
breathing, call 911 immediately.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
recently announced the availability of 30- and 15-second
public service announcements in English and Spanish. The CDC
is encouraging radio stations to download the public service
announcements free from
(scroll down to "Public Service Announcements for Carbon
Monoxide"). Other broadcast and print media can also use the
information to alert viewers and readers.
For further information, please contact your local county
health department or visit
The Florida Emergency Information Line: 1-800-342-3557.
Public Information Emergency Support Function:
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