Help inform residents in your community about the dangers of carbon monoxide and portable generators with these messages and free materials.
What is carbon monoxide?
Carbon monoxide, also known as CO, is called the “Invisible Killer” because it's a colorless, odorless, poisonous gas. More than 150 people in the Unites States die every year from accidental nonfire-related CO poisoning associated with consumer products, including generators. Other products include faulty, improperly-used or incorrectly-vented fuel-burning appliances such as furnaces, stoves, water heaters and fireplaces. Source: Consumer Product Safety Commission
Know the symptoms of CO poisoning
Source: Consumer Product Safety Commission
Because CO is odorless, colorless, and otherwise undetectable to the human senses, people may not know that they are being exposed. The initial symptoms of low to moderate CO poisoning are similar to the flu (but without the fever). They include:
Shortness of breath
High level CO poisoning results in progressively more severe symptoms, including:
Loss of muscular coordination
Loss of consciousness
Outreach materials from the U.S. Fire Administration
Handout: portable generators and winter storms
Download this handout and add your organization's logo EnglishPDF 688 KB | SpanishPDF 645 KB
Handout: carbon monoxide safety
Download this handout and add your organization's logo EnglishPDF 844 KB | SpanishPDF 765 KB
Public service announcement: winter fire safety
Use these free, high resolution photos to customize your materials and help spread the word in your community about the dangers of carbon monoxide.
Social media messages and images to share
Copy and paste these messages to your social media accounts and ask your followers to share.
150+ people die each yr from consumer product-related carbon monoxide. Do you have a working CO alarm? https://www.usfa.fema.gov
If you are running a generator, you need to have a working CO alarm in your home. https://www.usfa.fema.gov
Keep gas generators away from homes & garages. Carbon monoxide can kill within minutes. https://www.usfa.fema.gov
150+ people die on average each year from consumer product-related carbon monoxide. Knowledge and awareness are the keys to protecting your family. Learn more about the dangers of carbon monoxide at https://www.usfa.fema.gov
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Fire Prevention and Public Education Exchange
The Exchange serves as a centralized location for national, state and local fire prevention and life safety practices and public education materials that organizations may wish to share with other communities. Visit the Exchange.
Outreach materials from other organizations
The U.S. Fire Administration recommends the following organizations as trusted and reliable sources for free outreach materials you can use to help increase awareness about carbon monoxide poisoning.
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Statistical reports, safety tips, fact sheet, and an educational video to help prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. The National Fire Protection Association helps to reduce fire loss through consensus codes and standards, research, training and education.
Consumer Product Safety Commission Carbon Monoxide Information Center: Statistics, public service announcements, safety tips, and consumer product recalls related to carbon monoxide and portable generators. The Consumer Product Safety Commission is a U.S. federal agency that protects the public from injury or death associated with the use of consumer products.
Video: how close is too close for portable generators?
Source: National Institute of Standards and Technology