A portable generator. Image Credit: Sharjah Civil Defence

Sharjah: Sharjah Civil Defence has warned people against sleeping in enclosed spaces with a generator running in the wake of two deaths due to carbon monoxide poisoning on Sunday.

Colonel Sami Khamis Al Naqbi, director-general of Sharjah Civil Defence, said generators deplete oxygen and the exhaust fumes emitted by them can asphyxiate humans in less than an hour.

Two Asian men were found dead inside their under construction site in Sharjah’s Al Sajja industrial area on Sunday.

Sharjah Civil Defence warns against using generators inside homes.

Preliminary investigation showed they died after inhaling carbon monoxide emitted from a generator found alongside the bodies.

Carbon monoxide is a tasteless, colourless and odourless gas which binds with red blood cells, restricting the flow of oxygen and leading to suffocation.

Under no circumstances should one run a generator [or any other engine-driven tool] inside a house, basement, garage or any building where people live.

- Colonel Sami Khamis Al Naqbi, Director-general of Sharjah Civil Defence

Talking to media on Tuesday, Al Naqbi said people must exercise extreme caution while using these generators. Sleeping in enclosed spaces with the generator running is inviting death, he said. Al Naqi said people often use generators when their electricity has been disconnected over unpaid bills or the building where they are staying is under construction.

He recalled an instance when Civil Defence was called to rescue some people who were trapped in a building and suffering from acute suffocation caused by the fumes of a generator.

Sharjah Civil Defence warn from using generators at houses Image Credit: Sharjah Civil Defence

“Like car engines, electrical generators also emit toxic fumes. Under no circumstances should one run a generator [or any other engine-driven tool] inside a house, basement, garage or any building where people live — not even if you keep the doors and windows open.”

Carbon monoxide poisoning by generators caused three deaths in a house in a residential area last year.

Col. Al Naqbi urged industrial and commercial establishment owners provide their staff with facilities at the work site to avoid such tragedies.

Keeping safe

Never use a generator indoors or in an attached garage.

A portable generator is an internal combustion engine that emits a deadly gas called carbon monoxide which is odourless and colourless, and you can be overcome if the generator is indoors.

Be sure to place the generator outside where exhaust fumes will not enter enclosed spaces.