Golf carts and garage charging don’t always mix well

October 30, 2020
By Olivia Cameron

STAFF REPORT- The Boca Grande Fire Department has been receiving a curiously high amount of calls involving carbon monoxide detectors and golf carts lately, and it’s because of reasons you may not be aware of.
Many people store their carts in a garage, and charge them there as well. While it seems like a logical, safe thing to do, there are some precautions you need to take.
When a golf cart is charging, hydrogen gas is produced. If there is nowhere for that gas to go, it will build up in the garage until it sets off the carbon monoxide alarm.
Of course, if you don’t have a carbon monoxide detector, you will never know if hydrogen gas, an asphyxiant (which can be dangerous to humans in a high enough concentration versus the amount of oxygen in the enclosed space) is in the air.
Hydrogen is also flammable (think about the Hindenburg), and if an ignition source is nearby it could be very bad.
“If it’s setting off the carbon monoxide detector, it could potentially be a high enough level to harm someone,” Fire Chief C.W. Blosser said. “It’s also flammable, so if a source of ignition is there it could be a fire. You don’t need to charge the golf cart all the time; don’t leave them on the charger. Unplug the device at night when you go to bed.” 
In a small garage that is enclosed with no ventilation, there are several ways you could end up with a serious problem, so be careful.