I read about a man who was killed by generator fumes a few days ago. A few weeks before that, my sister told me about a family killed by generator fumes. And the list goes on and on. A lot of people have lost their lives because of generators.
We need generators. They are necessary back up when there is power failure (which is a lot of the time). Let’s be honest, our electricity provision issues will not be resolved any time soon. People are going to continue to rely on generators. Consequently, people are going to keep dying from generators.
Let me tell you how generators kill.
When they run, they emit several gases.
One of those gases is the culprit; Carbon monoxide (CO). You might think your own generator doesn’t emit CO because it doesn’t emit smoke. It does. CO is a colourless, odourless gas. The longer the generator is on, the more CO it emits, leading to a high concentration, especially in a room with inadequate ventilation.
You won’t see it as it wafts into your room and fills the air. You won’t smell it as you inhale it and it gets to your lungs, and goes to your blood stream.
Normally, Your blood contains heamoglobin which binds to oxygen; a necessity to live. When CO gets into your blood stream, it will replace the oxygen. Ironically, heamoglobin in your blood prefers CO to oxygen. So, eventually, all your blood cells will bind with CO, until you have no oxygen left.
You might feel a slight headache. Of course, you won’t attribute it to the generator. Because it’s just a headache. You might feel a bit dizzy and decide to sleep it off. Or while watching that nice episode of game of thrones, you may just sleep off. With your generator on, in the house. Once you go to sleep, and that generator is still on, you will not wake up.
That is how families get killed. That is why you hear of a family of 8 killed overnight and you wonder why someone didn’t notice anything. CO in high concentrations in enclosed spaces kills in minutes.
How do we keep ourselves safe? Ventilation, Ventilation, Ventilation.
Do not use your generator indoors, where the carbon monoxide will be trapped with you. Use it outside instead. When you use it outside, do not keep it close to your window, because that’s where the carbon monoxide will gladly come through to meet you. Take note of your neighbor’s generators as well.
Even if the CO doesn’t kill immediately, exposing yourself to low concentrations over a long period of time causes organ failure, stroke, cancers and a slower death.
If you know anyone who does this, please, advise them. No. Beg them to stop.
Too many people have died from generator fumes because they do not know this.
Let’s pray the government does something about electricity provision in this country. But in the meantime, let’s use our generators wisely and avoid those fumes of death. Okay?