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With Northern Ice Storm, New Englanders Reminded to Avoid Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Release Date: 01/16/2007
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. – Jan. 16, 2007) - With the first major winter storm impacting northern New England, residents who are without power are reminded to exercise extreme caution if they are using portable generators during a power outage to provide their home with heat and light. Using a generator or other fuel-burning device within your home can produce carbon monoxide that can kill you.

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that is produced when any fuel is burned.

EPA's advice is simple and straightforward:

- Do not to use fuel-burning devices such as gasoline-powered generators, gasoline-powered pressure washers, camp stoves and lanterns, or charcoal grills in homes, garages, or any other confined space such as attics or crawl spaces, or within 10 feet of windows, doors or other air intakes.

- Have vents and chimneys checked to assure that debris does not block or impede the exhaust from water heaters and gas furnaces.

- If you start to feel sick, dizzy or weak while using a fuel-burning appliance, get to fresh air right away.

- Go to the emergency room and tell the physician you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning.

More information on the Web:

Tips on protecting against carbon monoxide poisoning (epa.gov/iaq/pubs/coftsht.html)
Proteja su vida y la de su familia Evite el envenenamiento con monóxido de carbono (epa.gov/iaq/pubs/coftspan.html)

EPA also has public service announcements on carbon monoxide in English and Spanish:
- English PSA (epa.gov/katrina/outreach/psa.html#carbon)
- Spanish PSA (epa.gov/katrina/outreach/psa_espanol.html#1)

Finally, EPA also has other important useful tips when dealing with snow and ice (epa.gov/naturalevents/snow-ice.html)

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