Mr Kalu Ottah


A safety expert, Mr Kalu Ottah, has joined the call to discourage use of generating sets within the home.

He said using a generator within the home could be an open invitation to disaster and warned against the practice.

Ottah made this known against the backdrop of a Tuesday, June 19 incident in Edo State where a woman and five children were killed after inhaling fumes from a generator left to work throughout the night in their apartment’s kitchen.

According to The Punch, Mr Tochukwu Okwueze lost his wife, Benedicta, and five children who were found lifeless by neighbours in their apartment around Akpata Street, Egor Local Government Area of the state.

“The man (Tochukwu) turned on a generator in the kitchen. It was the fumes that killed them. But the man is in a hospital; he is in a coma. But the wife and the children died,” a neighbour said.

Although the police have vowed to conduct thorough investigations, preliminary reports suggest the victims died of asphyxiation.

Ottah, who spoke exclusively with Safety Record on Wednesday, June 20, lamented the continued use of generators within the home despite repeated warnings against the practice.

He said, “There is a crusade going on presently which I have been championing. I am sensitising people on the need to make sure their generator is always outside (the home) and not just outside, because if the wind direction is not favourable, it will still bring in the carbon monoxide into the house.

“People who are yet to be enlightened still keep taking that for granted and that is why they still keep putting their generator inside the house.”

He explained that generators produce carbon monoxide which saturates a victim’s respiratory system if inhaled repeatedly and deprives it of oxygen needed for proper breathing.

The ultimatum result of this, he said, is death.Ottah added, “There is no way the air within the house can be circulated.
“You are taking in oxygen and the generator is producing carbon monoxide, which displaces the oxygen in their system and attaches to their haemoglobin.

“So there is no way they can breathe or survive in that kind of atmosphere.”
He stated that many would continue to fall victim to such unfortunate experiences if nothing is done to raise the level of awareness of the danger inherent in improper generator use.

Ottah said he has through his campaign tagged Generator Safety been engaging in awareness creation to halt the trend.

“I have been doing that in my neighbourhood and extending it as far as it could go,” he disclosed.

“So the crusade has been on and we are trying to see the bit we can do alongside other things. It may take time but others may have to learn the hard way. I am sorry about that, but that is just the truth.

“The rate of assimilation or response to information differs but it is a pity these people had to go through this,” he lamented.

However, he noted, “On one hand they must have known. It is possible one of the kids, even though I don’t know their age variation, would have said something like: are we going to leave this thing on inside the house? But the dad would say, ‘We have done it over time’.
“One funny thing is that accidents don’t respect experience. It is possible they have done it several times and got away with it, but in this case they were unfortunate.

“And while they were doing it in times past, it is possible the environment or weather condition was favourable and there was proper ventilation, air was taking away the carbon monoxide from their kitchen.

“If you carefully go through this, they must have done this over and over again but they were unlucky this time around.

“There is no way you will say you’ve not heard it (that generator use inside home is bad) either from somebody’s story or read it in the newspaper.”

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