With power outages occurring throughout the area and potentially many more in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, possibly lasting for several days, Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace James Metts is urging everyone to spread one simple piece of life-saving information.
“If you use a generator, please keep it outside,” Judge Metts said. “With every major storm comes senseless and preventable loss of life from carbon monoxide poisoning because someone didn’t know the danger of running a generator indoors.”
Each time a natural disaster causes widespread power outages, Judge Metts is reminded of three deaths that occurred in September 2005. Three adults died in their sleep, and a fourth was found near death, in two separate incidents, from carbon monoxide poisoning. They were concerned about their generators being stolen, and nobody had told them of the danger posed by the invisible gas if used in an enclosed area.
“It may sound like common sense to some people, and some have pointed out that generators are usually marked with warning labels, but obviously not everyone realizes how serious the danger is, or we wouldn’t continue to see people die this way,” Metts said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says generators should never be used in garages or even under carports, and pose the most danger when they are in an enclosed area, such as inside a home where they can kill its occupants in just minutes.
“Please remind everyone you know who plans to use a generator,” Metts said. “You may prevent a tragedy.”