A Montgomery County couple was hospitalized Monday morning after being overcome by carbon monoxide from a generator being used to provide power to their home, according to county officials.
Emergency crews were called just before 9 a.m. to the home in the 3000 block of Ferndale Street in the Kensington area of the county. The couple had lost power to their home during Hurricane Irene. A family member had stopped by Monday morning to refuel the generator. That's when he found them disoriented and unresponsive, so he called 911.
They victims were taken to a local hospital for evaluation. Their conditions were not made available.
Officials remind the public to follow all instructions when using generators, including having a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector, placing generators at least 15 to 20 feet from homes and in well-ventilated areas.
More safety tips when using generators:
Never operate a generator in your home, garage, basement or any other enclosed area. The exhaust from a generator contains high levels of carbon monoxide (CO) which can build up quickly and lead to serious injury or death.
Proper ventilation is critical. A generator needs to be at least 15 to 20 feet from an enclosed area and away from any doors, windows and fresh air intakes where exhaust fumes and carbon monoxide can enter the home.
Never plug your generator into an outlet, and don’t connect a generator directly into your home’s main fuse box or circuit panel.
Make sure carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms have battery back-ups, are installed and are working properly.
Never fuel a generator while it is running. Turn off the generator and let it cool before refueling.
Keep generators away from all open windows -- including your neighbors’ -- so deadly exhaust does not enter.
Always thoroughly read all manufacturer instructions. This can avoid dangerous shortcuts and assist in ensuring the safe operation of your generator.