Fatal Attraction: Home Generators Used to Power Video Games

May 27, 2009 -

After a hurricane passes through, you might think that video games would be the last thing on the minds of people in the affected area.

You'd be wrong.

medpage TODAY reports that carbon monoxide poisoning caused by gasoline-fueled portable generators is a fairly common occurence following hurricanes. A surprising number of such incidents involve generators used to power video game systems:

Of 12 separate poisoning incidents in the Houston area in the wake of Hurricane Ike, which left two million people without power in September 2008, five resulted from the use of generators for video games, Caroline Fife, M.D., of the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, and colleagues reported.

Overall, 21 children and 17 adults were poisoned. A three-year-old died, and the others had symptoms ranging from nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and headache to chest pain, loss of consciousness, and coma, the researchers reported in the June issue of Pediatrics.

"This is the first study to suggest that generators are commonly used immediately after a large-scale power outage to power entertainment electronics for children," they said.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission told medpage TODAY:

Operating a generator inside your home produces poisonous levels of carbon monoxide equal to that of hundreds of cars running inside your home.


Comments

Re: Fatal Attraction: Home Generators Used to Power Video ...

Damn, that's sad. There needs to be some sort of mandatory warning near the starting mechanism for the generators. Something like "Emits carbon monoxide, which will kill you. Run generator only outdoors."

Ignorance is not stupidity. Ignorance is curable.

I will not buy securom games. http://www.wolvenmoon.com/sharedfiles/message1.jpg and http://www.wolvenmoon.com/sharedfiles/message2.jpg

Re: Fatal Attraction: Home Generators Used to Power Video ...

Survival of the fittest in action. You have to be some sort of dumbass to not realize that containing the fumes from burning gasoline inside your house is probably bad for you. It's just like sucking the tailpipe of a car people!

Re: Fatal Attraction: Home Generators Used to Power Video ...

Not a big fan of portable generators to power a house after a hurricane. That's why I saved my money and got a stationary generator that runs on natural gas. I have a portable generator but it's mostly to use it when I take my family out on camping trips. And besides why would you use a freaking generator indoors?! Like some of the readers said "natural selection"

Re: Fatal Attraction: Home Generators Used to Power Video ...

A whole new batch of Darwin award nominess eh?

Re: Fatal Attraction: Home Generators Used to Power Video ...

I was at college when Hurricane Katrina hit, close enough to the coast that we lost power for a few days.  My friends and I wandered around the the campus, bored, until one of them discovered at his dorm that there was a single outlet in the stairwell that actually ran off of the emergency generators on campus.  Within 15 minutes we had 3 XBoxes, 3 TVs and two dozen people crammed in that stairwell.  Fun times.

Re: Fatal Attraction: Home Generators Used to Power Video ...

Dang, they should include 100ft extension cables with them things, maybe then people would be inclined to put em OUTSIDE O.o  or maybe stick catalytic converters on em or something. Then it would be massive amounts of carbon dioxide :/

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Re: Fatal Attraction: Home Generators Used to Power Video ...

A person running a generator inside after a hurricane has nothing to do with games.  They just aren't reading the directions for proper use of a generator.

  Look I have been though at least 3 major hurricanes and for many people all it means is that their lights will be out for a week.  Some have no home damage other than loss of power.  So, people buy generators to run the fridge, maybe a window unit AC and, yes, the television.  It's not a huge stretch to think that the bored kids in the house will turn on a game system while they wait for power to be restored.  But it's not like someone said "shit, I can't play my games, I should get a generator."

Re: Fatal Attraction: Home Generators Used to Power Video ...

No kidding- if you're waiting THAT long for power to return after something that damaging, you're probably busy around the house, boarding up windows, getting debris out of the way, and contacting neighbors and family to direct restoration efforts.

Re: Fatal Attraction: Home Generators Used to Power Video ...

I've always said video games were a gas, but this is ridiculous.

(Too soon?)

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The Mammon Philosophy

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Fangamer

Re: Fatal Attraction: Home Generators Used to Power Video ...

Clearly this new generation of gamers will be the death of us.

Re: Fatal Attraction: Home Generators Used to Power Video ...

Natural Selection at its finest?


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Matthew Wilsonyes it help a sub section of the poor, but hurt both the middle and upper class. in the end way more people were hurt than helped. also, it hurt most poor people as well.04/16/2014 - 12:13am
SeanBJust goes to show what I have said for years. Your ability to have sex does not qualify you for parenthood.04/15/2014 - 9:21pm
NeenekoSo "worked" vs "failed" really comes down to who you think is more important and deserving04/15/2014 - 7:04pm
NeenekoThough I am also not sure we can say NYC failed. Rent control helped the people it was intended for and is considered a failure by the people it was designed to protect them from.04/15/2014 - 7:04pm
NeenekoIf they change the rules, demand will plummet. Though yeah, rent control probably would not help much in the SF case. I doubt anything will.04/15/2014 - 1:35pm
TheSmokeyOnline gamer accused of murdering son to keep playing - http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Crime/2014/04/15/21604921.html04/15/2014 - 11:50am
Matthew Wilsonyup, but curent city rules do not allow for that.04/15/2014 - 11:00am
ZippyDSMleeIf SF dose not start building upwards then they will price people out of the aera.04/15/2014 - 10:59am
Matthew Wilsonthe issue rent control has it reduces supply, and in SF case they already has a supply problem. rent control ofen puts rent below cost, or below profit of selling it. rent control would not fix this issue.04/15/2014 - 10:56am
NeenekoRent control is useful in moderation, NYC took it way to far and tends to be held up as an example of them not working, but in most cases they are more subtle and positive.04/15/2014 - 10:24am
PHX CorpBeating Cancer with Video Games http://mashable.com/2014/04/14/steven-gonzalez-survivor-games/04/15/2014 - 9:21am
Matthew Wilsonwhat are you saying SF should do rent control, that has never worked every time it has been tried. the issue here is a self inflicted supply problem imposed by stupid laws.04/15/2014 - 8:52am
E. Zachary KnightNeeneko, Government created price controls don't work though. They may keep prices down for the current inhabitants, but they are the primary cause of recently vacated residences having astronomical costs. Look at New York City as a prime example.04/15/2014 - 8:50am
NeenekoI think free markets are important, but believe in balance. Too much of any force and things get unstable.04/15/2014 - 7:25am
NeenekoWell, the traditional way of keeping prices down is what they are doing, controls on lease termination and tax code, but it will not be enough in this case.04/15/2014 - 7:24am
Matthew WilsonI said that already04/14/2014 - 4:22pm
E. Zachary KnightMatthew, The could also lower prices by increasing supply. Allow high rise apartment buildings to be built to fulfill demand and prices will drop.04/14/2014 - 3:48pm
Matthew Wilsonthe only way they could keep the price's down, would be to kick out google, apple, amazon, and other tech companies, but that would do a ton of economic damage to SF, but I am a major proponent of free markets04/14/2014 - 2:54pm
NeenekoThe community people are seeking gets destroyed in the process, and the new people are not able to build on themselves. Generally these situations result in local cultural death in a decade or so, and no one wins.04/14/2014 - 2:09pm
NeenekoWell yes, that is the 'free market', but the market is only a small piece of a much larger system. The market does not always do the constructive thing.04/14/2014 - 2:06pm
 

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