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Barry Doyle
Barry Doyle
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Running engines in garage poses carbon monoxide risk to people in the house

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Two recent news stories show that it is not safe to leave gas powered equipment running in the garage. This allows carbon monoxide into the house, putting residents of the house at risk for death or serious injuries from carbon monoxide poisoning.

In Connecticut, two men suffered carbon monoxide poisoning after they left a generator running in an adjoining garage. When firefighters arrived, themeters on their carbon monoxide detectors showed that the carbon monoxide levels exceeded the 500 ppm maximum amount that could be measured on their equipment. Levels over 35 ppm are considered hazardous.

In Florida, a woman could not shut the engine off on her SUV, so she left it running and shut the garage door and went into the house. Carbon monoxide fumes seeped into the house, killing her daughter and another girl who was spending the night.

The lesson to be taken from these events is that it is extremely dangerous to leave gas powered equipment running in the house, even the adjoining garage. Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless, so it is virtually impossible to detect without a carbon monoxide detector. If there are no carbon monoxide detectors present, gas powered equipment such as generators or cars can create enough carbon monoxide gas to cause death and serious injuries.