Flood Safety: CPSC Warns Southern California Residents of Dangers and Provides Life-Saving Tips

WASHINGTON, Feb. 5, 2024 – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is urging individuals affected by the flooding in Southern California to take necessary precautions to protect themselves and their families from potential dangers such as carbon monoxide poisoning, electrocution, explosions, and fires.

In the event of a home flooding, it is important to be vigilant of the dangers associated with wet appliances. Detailed steps include refraining from touching wet appliances that are still connected to an electrical source and having a professional or gas/electric company evaluate the home before using any appliances.

The loss of power due to storms can also pose a risk, particularly when it comes to using portable generators. The CPSC highlights the potential dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning from gasoline-powered portable generators, stressing the importance of proper ventilation and safe operation of these devices.

According to the CPSC, nearly 100 consumers die each year in the United States from carbon monoxide poisoning related to portable generators. The report also indicates a disproportionate impact on non-Hispanic Black or African American individuals, who accounted for 23% of generator-related CO deaths from 2011 through 2021.

The CPSC provides essential guidelines for using portable generators safely, including operating them only outside and at least 20 feet away from the house, as well as regular maintenance and safety feature checks.

Additional precautions regarding the use of charcoal, candles, and the detection of gas leaks are also emphasized by the CPSC as critical safety measures during and after flooding. These precautions include not using charcoal indoors, using caution when burning candles, and promptly leaving the home and contacting local gas authorities in the event of a gas leak.

For additional safety resources and lifesaving information, individuals are encouraged to visit CPSC.gov and sign up for email alerts, as well as follow CPSC on social media for important updates and safety tips. These measures can help reduce the risk of injury or death associated with consumer products and ensure the safety of individuals and families during and after natural disasters.

The U.S. CPSC serves as a crucial entity charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risk of injury or death related to thousands of consumer products, playing a vital role in reducing the rate of injuries associated with consumer products over the past five decades. The CPSC also offers a hotline for reporting dangerous products and provides valuable resources for media and the public.

As the CPSC raises awareness of the potential hazards facing flood victims, it contributes to the broader conversation about disaster preparedness and safety, underscoring the importance of preventive measures to safeguard individuals and families from unexpected dangers. With its emphasis on education and proactive safety measures, the CPSC serves as a critical resource for individuals affected by natural disasters and the broader public seeking to mitigate risks and ensure safety in their homes and communities.