According to the Centers for Disease Control carbon monoxide kills nearly 400 people annually and accounts for 20,000 visits to the emergency room each year. As Hurricane season impacts Florida annually, many areas are prone to experience power outages, which means more generators will be in use in Florida. Generators are dangerous because they can cause the CO level to rise to unsafe levels in homes. According to the Tampa Bay Times, Duke Energy had to restore power for 1.6 million Florida customers during the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. Assuming that 10% of Florida households use generators, that is approximately 160,000 generators in use after a major hurricane that can potentially cause carbon monoxide poisoning. Generators should be kept at least 20 feet from your home to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, and they should be placed far away from your windows, doors and vents. These carbon monoxide poisoning cases tend to increase around hurricane season because more people mistakenly misuse generators.
Never use a generator, pressure washer or any gasoline engine inside your garage, lanai or any enclosed structure. We all know that these accidents happen. Particularly with generators this becomes a huge danger with the hurricanes that occur in Florida. Make sure your generator is outside and far enough away from your home that the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning is attenuated by the distance and the fact that it will defuse into the air. Never use a generator inside your home, porch or inside a lanai. Never use it outside where the ventilation of the house may interact with the carbon monoxide output either. Make sure your generator is following the safety guidelines and make sure it is working properly. A carbon monoxide alarm in your home can be life saving and be sure to install one (before Hurricane Season) to prevent a poisoning emergency. If you already have a carbon monoxide alarm, please be sure to test the alarm frequently and change the batteries.
If you are the victim of carbon monoxide poisoning, please call the Law Offices of Christopher DeBari at (727) 656-7852 to obtain legal representation and guidance. The United States Constitution affords international visitors several legal rights. An experienced State of Florida Personal Injury attorney can help you protect your legal rights in the Sunshine State.