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Surviving The Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, CPSC Warns of Deadly Post-Storm Dangers From Portable Generators, Candles and Wet Appliances

Courtesy the CPSC Consumer Hotline 8/31/2005

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is warning residents of the Gulf Coast hit by Hurricane Katrina not to let disaster strike a second time. Deadly dangers exist in and around homes affected by the hurricane. The most serious hazard involves portable generators, which will be used in areas where the electricity has been knocked out by hurricane force winds and flooding. (Photo of oil rig off Alabama by Peter Cosgrove/AP)

CPSC strongly warns consumers to never use a generator indoors - including garages, basements, crawlspaces and sheds - even with ventilation. Exhaust fumes contain extremely high levels of carbon monoxide (CO) which can rapidly become deadly if inhaled. Last year, numerous deaths were reported throughout the Southeast due to CO poisoning while using generators in the aftermath of the four hurricanes that hit the region.

Consumers should only use a portable generator outdoors in a dry area away from doors, windows and vents that can allow CO to come indoors. Wait for the rain to pass before using a generator, as consumer-grade generators are not weatherproof and can pose the risk of electrocution and shock when used in wet conditions.

Additional life-saving safety tips from CPSC include:

This article provided courtesy the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. Find more product home and business safety info on their website,

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