A Stuart couple was hospitalized this week after suffering carbon monoxide poisoning while running a generator in their home, according to the Martin County Health Department.
The couple was brought to a hospital Tuesday after complaining of shortness of breath and chest pain. They remain in the hospital, the health department said.
At least four families in Palm Beach County suffered carbon monoxide poisoning this week after keeping running generators in closed garages, according to health officials.
As of Thursday afternoon, 16,740 customers in Martin County were still without power because of Hurricane Irma, according to the Florida Power & Light website.
In Palm Beach County, 156,150 customers were still without power.
Our Florida Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton strongly urge you to read through the operating manual before you operate a generator so that you fully understand how the machine works. You can avoid injury by always following the manufacturer’s guidelines and keeping the following safety tips in mind:
- Never use a generator in an enclosed space. Carbon dioxide produced by the engine can build up, causing potentially fatal fumes.
- When using a generator, keep it outdoors and at least 5 feet away from windows, vents, and doors.
- Always use a battery-operated carbon-dioxide detector when you are running a generator. Make sure the batteries are new.
- Before refueling the generator, allow it to cool for a minimum of two minutes, since gasoline vapors are extremely flammable. Use fresh gasoline, or stabilize gas with a fuel stabilizer if you do not use the generator for 30 days.
- Make sure that you follow the maintenance schedule that is recommended by the manufacturer.
- If you must use an extension cord, make sure it is rated for generator use and that it is grounded.
- Power generators should never be plugged into a home outlet.