In light of Texas’ insane weather as of late (which isn’t really anything new but still very annoying), alternative energy is undoubtedly going to be used. But just because something is portable, doesn’t mean it’s safe to bring indoors! When using generators this summer, be mindful of keeping you and your loved ones safe.

Generators emit carbon monoxide (CO), an odorless and colorless gas that can only be detected with an alarm. The toxins in the gas prevent blood from properly distributing oxygen to organs and body tissues. Carbon monoxide works very quickly; it can kill in just minutes. When using generators, keep OUT of the house, at least 10-20 feet away, and in a well-ventilated area.

The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are dizziness, drowsiness, severe headaches, weakness, nausea, and disorientation. Carbon monoxide affects everyone, but those most vulnerable are infants, pregnant women and their unborn children, the elderly, and people with heart or breathing problems. AGAIN – carbon monoxide can kill everyone, regardless of health. Pets, too, are susceptible to the poison, so be mindful of their whereabouts when using a generator (or having a vehicle running in a garage).

In an effort to be safe rather than sorry (read: dead), carbon monoxide alarms are easily accessible and affordable. They’re found at most hardware stores and range in prices. Like a smoke detector, install them close to bedrooms, but also in the garage and kitchen; and be sure to check their batteries annually.

First Alert 14.78