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News Release
September 16, 2008

The Texas Department of State Health Services is reminding those still without electricity as a result of Hurricane Ike to use extreme caution with generators and other carbon monoxide (CO) producing devices.

There have been reports of deaths from carbon monoxide from portable generators in the recovery area.

To avoid the build-up of deadly CO gas, always place generators outdoors in well-ventilated areas at least 10 feet away from buildings. It is never safe to use generators indoors or in garages even with the doors open. Likewise, gasoline-powered tools, camp stoves and charcoal grills produce carbon monoxide and should never be used indoors.

Carbon monoxide is odorless and invisible.

Symptoms of CO poisoning include: dizziness, drowsiness, severe headache, weakness, nausea and confusion. Anyone with one or more of these symptoms should go – or be moved to – a well-ventilated area outdoors and should receive immediate medical attention.

For more information about CO, visit: www.dshs.state.tx.us/preparedness/factsheet_co-generators.shtm.

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(News Media: For more information, contact Emily Palmer, DSHS Assistant Press Officer, 512-532-4969 or 512-458-7400.)

Last updated November 22, 2010