Carbon monoxide or ( CO ) is a tasteless, colorless, odorless gas that could be deadly if you are in a poorly ventilated area. The flame carbon gives off is blueish in color. This gas is poisonous and should be avoided at all costs when not in a ventilated area. CO is formed when carbon is burning with a lack of sufficient air flow. Portable generators produce carbon monoxide and you have to follow some rules while using these types of generators. The following article is on carbon monoxide safety facts.
Carbon Monoxide Safety Tips:
Here are some safety facts and tips you can go by while using a portable generator. I hope this is helpful. You will want to go by these tips each and every time you get your portable generator out to use. These safety tips can also be useful for other carbon monoxide-producing products.
Tip #1 – Read The Owners Manual
This tip is obvious. Every time you buy a new product especially a portable generator you should open up that owners manual and give it a good read from cover to cover even if you think you know everything there is to know about the generator you bought. Reading the owners manual just might save your life someday.
In the owners manual, you will find if there is a warranty with the product any installation instructions, assembly instruction, a chart of all the components on and in the product and most of all safety procedures that must be followed while using the product. If your generator didn’t come with an owners manual make sure you contact the company that sold the unit to you and they can help you get a copy of the manual or help you find it online. These days with the internet you can find most manuals by doing a search on google. Whatever you do don’t run the generator before obtaining the manual!
Tip #2 – Know The Symptoms of CO Poisoning
There are many symptoms of poisoning that can occur when being around carbon monoxide. Leave the area immediately if you suffer from these signs and symptoms.
- A headache is one of the first signs you should be aware of when working around carbon monoxide. These can be dull or a real pounding headache. Play it safe and just leave the area if you have one of these. If the headache goes away after you are away from the CO area then you know that it is the carbon monoxide that is causing it.
- Nausea. If you start feeling woozy and feel like throwing up it’s a pretty good sign that you are being affected by the CO and you must leave the area immediately and I would recommend sitting down in a cool, well-ventilated area.
- Dizziness is another symptom which goes hand in hand with nausea. It’s a sure sign if your dizzy and nauseous that you are experiencing CO poisoning. You need to definitely leave the area and get help doing so if you are too dizzy to stand or walk. It’s also a good idea not to run a portable generator without some else around in case you get to sick to move if needed.
- Shortness of breath. If you start feeling shortness of breathing you will want to get out of the area immediately before it’s too late to do so. This is a big sign you are being poisoned. Shortness of breath can happen easily especially if you have breathing problems like asthma or COPD. If you have breathing issues I would recommend wearing a breathing mask of some sort while being around carbon monoxide.
- Fatigue. If you start feeling tired and sluggish all of a sudden then you are probably experiencing CO poisoning. Leave the area immediately and sit down.
The main point of this tip is to leave the area immediately if you experience any of these symptoms. CO is a seriously poisonous gas that shouldn’t be played with. As I said make sure to wear a breathing face mask if you have breathing problems.
Tip #3 – Use Carbon Monoxide Detectors
The use of carbon monoxide detectors is a great way to prevent you from being poisoned by CO. These detectors will alert you if there is a dangerous amount of CO in the air. If you buy a CO detector you will want to replace the battery at least once a year. I usually do this around one of the time zone changes either in the fall or spring.
If the detector starts having an annoying chirping noise that means it’s time to change the battery. That noise is on purpose to annoy you enough to get up and change the battery which is a good feature to have. It could save your life. Smoke detectors also have that annoying chirping feature.
Tip #4 – Keep Fumes Away From Yourself and Others
This tip is self-explanatory. When running your portable generator make sure you keep the exhaust facing away from people. If the wind is strong, make sure the exhaust is going with the wind and that people are not downwind from the generator. An easy tip to follow but very important and simple way to keep everyone safe from the poisonous fumes.
Tip #5 – Keep Portable Generators Outside
The last tip is to keep your portable generator outside and keep it away from doors and windows of buildings that might be nearby. CO can easily creep into a house if the doors are open or windows are open. This is true even if you have a screen over them and since you can’t see the gas this makes it that much more dangerous because there’s no way of knowing if the gas fumes are getting inside unless you have a detector in your house.
Play It Safe
When being around carbon monoxide and generators you want to play it safe. What did we learn today?
- Read the owners manual
- Know the signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning
- Use carbon monoxide detectors when possible
- Keep fumes away from yourself and others
- Keep portable generators outside and away from doors and windows
If you follow these tips every time you use your generator you will be safe. Play it safe out there.