Generating Heat, Not Danger
"We usually just sell them like when the Cole County has their fair and stuff like that, but nothing like this when the winter weather hasn't been this bad for quite awhile," he said.
In the past week alone, Lowe's sold close to one hundred generators.
Brown stresses it is important to remember that generators run on gas just like a car, and just like cars, they release carbon monoxide. This gas is the number one cause of accidental poisonings in the US, with 2,000 deaths per year. But it's difficult to know when you are being exposed to carbon monoxide because of three reasons.
"Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas, so that is why it's known as the silent killer, because there is really only one way to detect it and that is through carbon monoxide detectors," said Gale Blomenkamp, division chief of the Boone County Fire Dept.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission mandates that all portable generators must have a new label saying the carbon monoxide buildup can kill you in two minutes. Blomenkamp says the generators are safe as long as you use them outside and away from the house.
If you feel dizzy or light headed around a generator, you should get out to an open space immediately.
Reported by: Brian Mattson
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