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The Florida Department of Health in Collier County is urging the public to avoid carbon monoxide exposure by taking precautions with gas-powered appliances and charcoal or gas grills. Carbon monoxide is a highly poisonous, invisible, odorless, tasteless gas and is highly poisonous. Depending on the level of exposure, CO may cause fatigue, weakness, chest pains for those with heart disease, shortness of breath upon exertion, nausea, vomiting, headaches, confusion, lack of coordination, impaired vision, loss of consciousness, and in severe cases, death. DOH recommends not burning charcoal or gas grills inside a house, garage, vehicle, tent or fireplace, using a generator indoors, including in 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 build-up in the home. In addition, never use a tarp, plastic or other covering over a generator. This inhibits the airflow and is a potential fire hazard. Always locate the unit outdoors on a dry surface, away from doors, windows, vents and air conditioning equipment that could allow CO to come indoors, and always place the generator at least 20 feet away from the house.

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