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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote, and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, and community efforts.

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August 13, 2021

PANAMA CITY, Fla.— If Tropical Depression Fred makes landfall in our area it could cause widespread power outages. The Florida Department of Health in Bay County (DOH-Bay) reminds residents that using a generator indoors will result in deadly carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. In a short time, CO can build up in enclosed or even partially enclosed spaces, such as your home or garage. The risk of illness or death increases with the level of CO in the air and the amount of time exposed. 

"Carbon monoxide is invisible and odorless, so you might not even realize you are at risk until it is too late,” said Sandon S. Speedling, MHS, CPM, CPH, Administrator and Health Officer, DOH-Bay. “Please ensure that you follow these precautions to keep you and your family safe.” 

To avoid sickness or death from CO poisoning: 

  • NEVER use a generator indoors, including in homes, garages, basements, crawl spaces, and other enclosed or partially enclosed areas, even with ventilation. 
  • ALWAYS place the unit outdoors on a dry surface, away from doors, windows, vents, and air conditioning equipment that could allow CO to come indoors. Follow all manufacturers instructions that come with your generator. 
  • Install-battery operated CO alarms or plug-in alarms with battery back-up in your home, according to the manufacturer’s installation instructions. The CO alarms should be certified to the requirements of the latest safety standards for CO alarms (UL 2034 or IAS 6-96). 
  • Test your CO alarms frequently and replace dead batteries. 
  • REMEMBER that you cannot see, or smell CO and portable generators can produce high levels of CO very quickly. 
  • If you start to feel sick, dizzy, or weak while using a generator, get to fresh air RIGHT Away, DO NOT DELAY. 
  • If you have a poising emergency, call your nearest Florida Poison Information Center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call 911 immediately. 


About the Florida Department of Health

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

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