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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote, and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, and community efforts.

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Carbon Monoxide

Florida Department of Health - St. Johns County

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is an invisible, odorless and tasteless gas that is very poisonous. It can cause Fatigue, weakness, chest pains for people with heart disease, shortness of breath, stomach pain, vomiting, headaches, confusion, lack of coordination, vision problems, loss of consciousness and in severe cases, death.

Florida Poison Information Center

If a person has collapsed or is not breathing, call 9-1-1 immediately. If you suspect CO poisoning, call the
Florida Poison Information Center :


Portable Generators can Produce
High Levels of CO Very Quickly

Safety Tips

  • Never use a generator indoors, including homes, garages, basements, crawl spaces and other enclosed or partially enclosed areas, even with ventilation. Opening doors and windows, or using fans will not prevent CO buildup in your home.
  • Always keep portable generators or gasoline engines outside and away from open windows, doors, window air conditioners or exhaust vents that could allow CO to come indoors. Follow the instructions that come with your unit.
  • Remember, you cannot see or smell CO. If you start to feel sick, dizzy or weak while using a generator, get to fresh air immediately.
  • Do not burn charcoal or gas grills inside a house, garage, vehicle, tent or fireplace.

Keep Your Generator
Outside, Away & Dry

Carbon Monoxide Hazard

CO Alarms Save Lives

  • Install battery-operated CO alarms or plug-in CO alarms with battery backup in your home. Follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions. The CO alarms should be certified to the latest safety standards: UL 2034, IAS 6-96, ASTM D6332, or CSA 6.19.01.
  • Test your CO alarms—follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and replace dead batteries.