PEOPLE in Tenbury and the Teme Valley are being warned against using petrol or diesel generators to pump out water.

Business and home owners affected by the floods are being urged not to use petrol or diesel water pumps in confined spaces as they can pose a significant safety risk and, as has happened in the past, can lead to a loss of life.

Petrol or diesel fuelled generators used to power water pumps or other flood recovery devices such as dehumidifiers or fans, which can be used following flooding, will give off a variety of toxic gases including carbon monoxide fumes.

These fumes can overcome people in the building or near vicinity if used in an enclosed space.

“While we completely understand that people will want to remove flood water from their properties, pumps and other machinery powered by petrol or diesel are designed for outdoor use,” said John Pryce, head of operations with the Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service.

“This is because they emit hazardous carbon monoxide fumes. We would urge people not to use them inside buildings or in areas without adequate ventilation.”

Signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide exposure can include feeling tired, poor concentration, memory or vision, headaches, fatigue, nausea and vomiting.

It can cause death within a short space of time.