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As everyone knows residents of south Florida were recently pounded by rain from tropical storm Fay. Much of the region has experienced flooding and suffered from widespread power outages in the wake of the storms’ brutal assault of Florida. The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission have posted some safety tips on their website for the victims of Fay.

Many people will use portable gas generators to restore temporary power to their homes and businesses but the CPSC warn that these generators could pose serious health risks if not use properly. Gas powered engines produce large amounts of colorless and odorless carbon monoxide, and if these generators are used improperly the poisonous gas could kill you and your family in matter of minutes.

A Porter Novelli “Healthstyles” surveys* of more than 10,000 adults found dangerous misconceptions about generator safety. The surveys found that most respondents (62 percent) believe it is safe to run a generator in a garage as long as the garage door is open. Many (47 percent) also believe it is safe to run a generator in a basement as long as a window is open. But both scenarios have caused deaths. CPSC records show that there were nearly 100 generator-related deaths due to CO poisoning in 2005.

The commission also cautioned victims of Fay to be wary of appliances that may have gotten wet as this may greatly increase the risk of electrocution. The CPCS advises those who have experienced flooding to have their homes and businesses evaluated by a professional and to replace any type of electrical or gas components that have gotten wet before attempting to use these resources.

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