US Virgin Islands Hotel & Tourism Association

Residents of the U.S. Virgin Islands are warned against the negative effects of Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning. Residents are strongly warned against the practice of using generators indoors or in enclosed or partially enclosed porches, and garages.

According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), CO is a colorless, odorless, toxic gas which interferes with the oxygen-carrying capacity of blood. CO is non-irritating and can overcome persons without warning. Many people die from CO poisoning, usually while using gasoline powered tools and generators in buildings or semi-enclosed spaces without adequate ventilation.

Effects of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: Severe carbon monoxide poisoning causes neurological damage, illness, coma and death.

Symptoms of CO Exposure: Headaches, dizziness, drowsiness, Nausea, vomiting and tightness across the chest.

Some Sources of Exposure: portable generators/generators in buildings; concrete cutting saws, compressors; power trowels; floor buffers; space heaters; and welding, gasoline powered pumps.

Preventing CO Exposure: Opening windows and doors in an enclosed space may prevent CO buildup. Make sure the generator has 3-4 feet of clear space on all sides and above it to ensure adequate ventilation. Do not use a generator outdoors if placed near doors, windows or vents which could allow CO to enter and build up in occupied spaces. When using space heaters and stoves, ensure that they are in good working order to reduce CO buildup, and never use in enclosed spaces or indoors. Consider using tools powered by electricity or compressed air, if available.

If you experience symptoms of CO poisoning, get to fresh air right away and seek immediate medical attention.