Government sends out Y2K generator safety warningsgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
I don't care if this has been posted before. I think I'll post it again later. (I like this boston.com site.) <:)=
WASHINGTON (AP) Americans planning to use generators as a precaution against possible power outages because of Y2K need to take steps to prevent ''carbon monoxide poisoning, gasoline ignition, and electrocution,'' the Consumer Product Safety Commission says.
In other words, take caution with your precautions.
The federal agency is warning generator users that gasoline generators should not be used indoors, because the machines produce carbon monoxide, a colorless, odorless gas that kills about 200 people a year and sends another 10,000 to the emergency room.
Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are similar to the flu, and include nausea, dizziness, headache and irregular breathing. CPSC recommends carbon monoxide detectors for generator-using homes that meet the most recent U.S. or international standards, and says an outdoor location is a must.
Any gasoline should be kept outdoors in safety containers, because gas fumes can travel across a room and be ignited by a water heater or other ignition source.
Portable generators are an electrocution risk if they are not properly connected to the home electrical wiring system. Generator power leads should not be plugged into a wall outlet; a qualified electrician should hook up the standby electrical system, or the local utility can install a linking device, if one is available.
If all these warnings are enough to make you think twice about Y2K-related generator use, the CPSC won't try to reassure you of the need to use them. According to the agency, ''The CPSC believes that Y2K will not result in major power outages.''
-- Sysman (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 31, 1999