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October 26, 2011
State Fire Marshal J. William Degnan
(603) 223-4289

State Fire Marshal Warns of Carbon Monoxide Hazards

The pending arrival of Hurricane Sandy raises safety concerns from NH State Fire Marshal J. William Degnan. This storm is predicted to be a long term event with the possibility of heavy damage in the state. The threat of power outages from the storm increases the threat of carbon monoxide exposures from the use of generators.

Unintentional carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning kills and injures people across the nation and New Hampshire each year. "Generators are one of the most common source of unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning in New Hampshire", warned State Fire Marshal Bill Degnan, "but carbon monoxide can also be a problem with temporary cooking appliances or space heaters, motor vehicles left running in attached garages or adjacent to a building, generators used during power outages or any other type of fuel burning appliance.

When using a generator have it at least ten feet from your home with the exhaust facing away from the house. Never run a generator inside of any building including a garage with an open door. Carbon Monoxide is the silent killer. You cannot see, taste or smell carbon monoxide, but it can cause severe health problems or death. It is important that everyone have carbon monoxide detectors where they sleep."

Degnan states that it is critical that every home has at least one smoke detector on each floor level and they are interconnected. Fire Marshal Degnan emphasizes that "every family should develop and practice a home fire escape plan. Smoke detectors should be tested monthly, and matches and lighters should be kept out of the reach of children at all times."

For further information concerning home fire safety, contact your local fire department or the State Fire Marshal's Office.

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