Last winter, there was one story that pushed the COVID-19 pandemic to page 2. That was the deadly, record-breaking cold front that gripped Texas and other Southern states for more than a week.
Accompanied by historic Winter Storm Uri, it resulted in 237 deaths, countless injuries and millions of power outages. Plus closed roads and frozen pipes. Nearly one-half of the Texas population had tap water disruptions.
The story was heard loud and clear across the country. But there was another, quieter component to this tragedy. I’m talking about carbon monoxide (CO) poisonings. They called it the “Silent Killer” of the storm.
In Texas alone, some 1,400 people visited emergency rooms for CO poisoning. At least 11 people lost their lives due to it. Dr. Neil Hampson called it the country’s “biggest epidemic of CO poisoning in recent history.”
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo oversees emergency management in the Houston area. She labeled the carbon monoxide crisis a “disaster within a disaster.”
Carbon Monoxide Can Be Deadly
Many of those who suffered carbon monoxide poisoning were improperly using gas-powered generators.
Some were running them in garages. Others were using them too close to vents and windows. In both cases, toxic fumes entered their homes.
According to the CDC, some 430 Americans die every year from CO poisoning.
Symptoms include headache, dizziness and weakness. As well as nausea, vomiting, chest pain and confusion.
Not a One-Time Thing
Some people may say, “Well, that storm was a once-in-a-lifetime event.” But last winter was hardly the only time carbon monoxide has been a big problem.
The previous summer, millions of Californians had to deal with planned power outages in the heat. And last fall, many lost power due to wildfires. Many used gas-powered generators for their electricity.
Some of them were sickened by CO poisoning. Others suffered shocks and contact burns.
All they wanted to do was keep the lights on. And keep refrigerated and frozen food from spoiling. Plus, keep their medical devices and other electronic devices functioning. But they got more than they bargained for.
Warnings Often Ignored
Don’t get me wrong. Generators can be lifesavers. They provide peace of mind and comfort. You know the next time the lights go out, you have a backup power source to support you and your family.
Generators allow you to keep medical devices functioning. And they can power up your refrigerator and a space heater. Plus a TV, phones, laptops and more.
But there’s a tragic irony here. Research shows that carbon monoxide from gas-powered generators might be deadlier than the disasters that lead people to buy them.
And while gas-powered generator manufacturers warn consumers about potential carbon monoxide poisoning, those warnings are not always heeded.
Fatal in 5 Minutes
Regardless of what kind of generator you own – big or small, solar or gas – knowing generator safety is key. But this is especially true with gas generators.
Depending on the levels, carbon monoxide poisoning can be fatal. In just five minutes. Most people won’t notice it until they start feeling ill. That’s because it’s odorless and colorless. Falling asleep while CO is present can be deadly.
Following Hurricane Irma in 2017, 11 deaths in Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina were attributed to the storm. But an additional 16 deaths were caused by carbon monoxide poisoning.
One incident involved a 66-year-old woman who passed away from CO poisoning after four days of running her gas generator too close to her house. Her brother-in-law died two days later.
Take These Precautions
Of all the possible generator tips, reading the manual seems so simple and obvious. And yet many people ignore this step.
By educating yourself and knowing safety precautions, you will better protect yourself and your family from potential life-threatening scenarios. Here are some safety tips to follow if you own a gas generator.
- Keep your generator at least 25 feet from any building.
- Make sure fumes are not blowing toward anything flammable. Such as vegetation.
- Store your gas cans properly and far away from the generator.
- Install a carbon monoxide alarm.
- Don’t run your generator while it’s raining. Unless it’s shielded by a waterproof and well-ventilated tent.
A Safer Kind of Backup Power
Power outages are happening more frequently than ever before. And they’re lasting longer than usual.
If you don’t take safety precautions, your backup power source could be as deadly as the power outage itself. Fortunately, there is a much better, safer and more reliable way to give yourself backup power than with a gas-powered generator.
A solar generator is a smart choice. It produces an endless supply of life-saving electricity when you need it most. And without gas, fumes or noise. Plus, it’s safe enough to use indoors. Even in your bedroom to run your CPAP machine.
My recommendation is the Patriot Power Generator 1800. And if there were ever a perfect time to get one, it’s right now. Why? Because for the first time ever, we’re taking $500 OFF the cost. That means you get the same price we offered way back in 2014.
But this exclusive offer goes away forever at midnight on 12/31. We have an extremely limited inventory of these generators at this sale price. It’s first come, first served. I’m sorry, but I can’t offer any IOUs or rainchecks, either. So don’t wait.