Homeland Security and Emergency Services

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, toxic gas.  Many people have died from CO poisoning because their generator was not adequately ventilated.

  • Install a carbon monoxide detector.detector

  • Never use a generator indoors or in enclosed spaces such as garages, crawl spaces, and basements.  Open windows and doors may NOT prevent carbon monoxide from building up when a generator is located in an enclosed space.

  • Run the generator outside and downwind of structures.  Make sure it has 3 to 4 feet of clear space on all sides and above it to ensure adequate ventilation.

  • Do not use a generator outdoors if it placed near doors, windows, or vents – these types of openings may allow carbon monoxide to enter and build up in occupied spaces.

  • If you or others show symptoms of CO poisoning, e.g., dizziness, headaches, nausea, and/or tiredness, get to fresh air immediately and seek medical attention.  Do not re-enter the area until it is determined to be safe by trained and properly equipped personnel.