Fire, CO Dangers High With Restoration

by LonSeidman

Over 180 Connecticut residents were treated for Carbon Monoxide poisoning statewide as of Wednesday night, Governor Malloy told a press conference. As residents increasingly are using generators, and some ventilation systems fail, emergency responders are being summoned to prevent death from a quiet winter killer.

Symptoms of Carbon monoxide are vague and mimic the flu. They often include headache and nausea. Extreme cases can include disorientation and lethargy as carbon monoxide replaces oxygen in a victim’s blood circulatory system. The brain and other organs cannot use carbon monoxide, starve, then slowly die. Fresh air and emergency treatment are imparative for anyone suffereing these symptoms.

As electricity is restored to neighborhoods, residential lines that became disconnected to houses in the storm are becoming energized again. The result is potentially dangerous for motorists, homeowners, children, and anyone else who might come into contact with wires that for the past few days were harmlessly dead. Overnight on Tuesday at least 6 major fires occurred statewide when neighborhood power came back on. At least one person died on these. Governor Malloy warned “make sure that ovens, toaster ovens, and other appliances are turned off at all times. If the power comes back on when the home is unnoccupied, there can be problems.”

Waterbury firefighters fought a fire on Wall Street early Wednesday morning. Other fires occured in Watertown, West Hartford and Manchester. Some were caused by generators, candles, and others by unknown causes. Yet, the risks remain.

No downed powerline shouuld be touched or approached by anyone – whether known to be dead or alive. Fire Departments and CL&P officials are roping off these areas with yellow caution tape. If you know of wires that have not been roped off, contact 911. Make sure that children are aware of where these wires are and make sure they understand the dangers of them.

State Senator Joe Markley’s office released some safety tips dealing with generators:

Customers who have emergency generators – use these devices properly in order to keep the linemen safe as they work to restore power.
•Please do not connect your home generator directly to your home or business’s wiring.
•The generator should be connected through an approved cut-off switch that will automatically disconnect the home or business from the power grid when the generator is being used.
•This work must be done by a licensed electrician.

Also, when dealing with food:

FOOD SAFETY: Frozen Food & Power Outages: When to Save &When to Throw Out

http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/charts/frozen_food.html
Thawed or partially thawed food in the freezer may be safely refrozen if it still contains ice crystals or is at 40 °F or below. Partial thawing and refreezing may affect the quality of some food, but the food will be safe to eat.

Never taste food to determine its safety! You can’t rely on appearance or odor to determine whether food is safe.
Note: Always discard any items in the freezer that have come into contact with raw meat juices.

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