When the power goes out keeping the house from getting too cold is a big challenge. But remember that alternative heat and power sources need be used with caution. Generator exhaust contains Carbon Monoxide (CO) which is colorless and odorless but very deadly. Never use a generator in the house — even if you leave a door or window open. The vapors can kill in minutes EVEN if you place it in a garage or basement. And carbon monoxide is especially dangerous to pregnant woman, infants, smokers and the elderly.
But generators are not the only source of carbon monoxide in homes. Any fuel burning sources such as propane heaters, wood stoves, and fireplaces produce CO and must be properly ventilated to be safe. Be especially aware of the hazards of using an outdoor grill or camping equipment for emergency home heating — as well as being a fire hazard indoors, charcoal quickly produces deadly CO and cannot be used safely in an enclosed space.
Don’t forget to change the batteries in your carbon monoxide detector regularly. If you don’t have one, contact your Maine Families Home Visitor for a free CO detector.
Click here to read more information from the US Consumer Products Safety Commission so you can keep your home safe when dealing with winter storms and power outages.