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Carbon Monoxide - Generator Safety Fact Sheet

When the Power Goes Out, Keep Your Generator Outside

Portable back-up generators produce the poison gas carbon monoxide (CO). CO is an odorless, colorless gas that kills without warning. It claims the lives of hundreds of people every year and makes thousands more ill. Follow these steps to keep your family safe.

PORTABLE GENERATORS

  • Never use a generator inside your home or garage, even if doors and
    windows are open.
  • Only use generators outside, more than 20 feet away from your home, doors, and windows.

CO DETECTORS

  • Install battery-operated or battery back-up CO detectors near every sleeping area in your home.
  • Check CO detectors regularly to be sure they are functioning properly.

If you have had a poisoning incident related to any generator, please report it at https://www.saferproducts.gov/.

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