5 Home Safety Hazards to Avoid When a Hurricane Strikes

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As hurrican season is here, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is warning residents in its path of the deadly dangers that can exist after a hurricane sweeps through, knocking out power and causing flooding.

CPSC wants consumers to remember to prevent these four home safety hazards:

1. POISONOUS CARBON MONOXIDE (CO)
The exhaust from portable generators contains poisonous carbon monoxide (CO) – a deadly, odorless and colorless gas.

NEVER use a portable generator anywhere inside your home or garage. Portable generators should be outside, at least 20 FEET from the house, any open window or vent.

NEVER use charcoal grills or camp stoves indoors.

CO from portable generators, charcoal grills and camp stoves can kill in a matter of minutes. CO alarms can save lives.  Make sure that you have CO alarms in your home and that they are working.

2. DEADLY ELECTROCUTION HAZARDS
Stay away from downed wires. They can be live with deadly voltage.

Do not operate or handle electrical appliances that are or have been in standing water.

Have a qualified electrician check electrical appliances, circuit breakers, outlets and wiring before using them if they have gotten wet or have been in standing water.

3. CANDLE-RELATED HOUSE FIRES
Candles should be used with extreme caution. Never leave burning candles unattended. Battery-operated lights such as flashlights are a safer option.

4. GAS LEAKS: IF YOU SMELL IT, REPORT IT
If you smell gas, don’t turn lights on or off, or use electrical equipment, including a phone. Leave the home immediately. Then call 911.

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