Killer Game Consoles Attack Hurricane Victims

Researchers following up on carbon monoxide-poisoning cases in the wake of Hurricane Ike have found a familiar culprit: video games. According to a study by the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, of 37 CO-poisoning cases investigated, 9 involved kids who were using generators to make sure that they maintained their high scores during the Ike-borne power outage. “Discovering that generators are so frequently used to power entertainment devices for children suggests that school programs should be considered in states at risk for hurricane-related power outages,” said UT’s Dr. Caroline Fife. We have another idea: learn how to use your generator safely.

Some tips from Consumer Reports:

  • Always run your generator outdoors and at least 15 feet away from the house.
  • Never run it in the basement or garage or other enclosed space.
  • Install a transfer switch to connect the unit to your home’s wiring system.
  • Never connect a generator directly to your home.
  • Reduce fire risk by turning off a gasoline-powered generator before refueling.
  • Store gasoline in an ANSI-approved container and in a cool, well-ventilated area.

Or you can just skip the generator-powered gaming jag entirely, and enjoy some quiet time with your family. Uh, yeah, right.

CO poisoning linked to video games [UPI]
How to safely use a generator during a weather emergency [Consumer Reports]

(Photo: jenny downing)