Guidelines to Prevent Carbon Monoxide (CO) Poisoning when
using a Generator Per the American Red Cross
• Never use a
generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or
charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any
partially enclosed area.
• Keep these devices
outdoors, away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide
to come indoors.
• Opening doors and
windows or using fans will not prevent CO buildup in the home. Although CO
can't be seen or smelled, it can rapidly lead to full incapacitation and death.
Even if you cannot smell exhaust fumes, you may still be exposed to CO. If you
start to feel sick, dizzy, or weak while using a generator, get to fresh air
RIGHT AWAY - DO NOT DELAY.
• Install CO alarms
in central locations on every level of your home and outside sleeping areas to
provide early warning of accumulating carbon monoxide. Test the batteries frequently and replace
• If the carbon
monoxide alarm sounds, move quickly to a fresh air location outdoors or by an
open window or door. Call for help from
the fresh air location and remain there until emergency personnel arrive to
A single generator can produce a hundred times more of the
colorless, odorless gas than a modern car's exhaust. (NIST) shows that to prevent potentially
dangerous levels of carbon monoxide, users may need to keep generators farther
from the house than previously believed—perhaps as much as 25 feet.