Two recent stories in the news underline the fact that it is not safe to leave gas burning equipment running in the garage. Doing so allows carbon monoxide to seep into the house, placing people in the house at risk for serious injuries or wrongful death due to carbon monoxide poisoning.
In Connecticut, two men and seven rescue workers were hospitalized with carbon monoxide poisoning after they left a generator running in a garage adjoining the house where they were living. When rescue workers came to their aid, their carbon monoxide detectors found that the levels exceeded the 500 ppm maximum amount that could be measured on their equipment. Anything in excess of 35 ppm is considered hazardous.
In Florida, a woman was not able to shut the engine off on her SUV, so she shut the garage door and went into the house. Carbon monoxide fumes seeped into the house, killing her daughter and another girl who was spending the night.
The take-away from these two news stories is that it is very dangerous to leave gas burning equipment running inside the house, even if it is in the adjoining garage. Carbon monoxide gas is colorless and odorless, so it is virtually undetectable without a carbon monoxide detector. If there are no carbon monoxide detectors present, equipment such as cars or generators can generate enough carbon monoxide gas to cause serious injuries or even wrongful death.