December 2023 Newsletter



Members may not realize it, but their golf carts could be a ticking time bomb if they charge them inside a garage. That is because the golf cart batteries, especially older ones, emit hydrogen, which is highly flammable. The Palm Beach County Fire Marshall said, “if it doesn’t suffocate you, it can kill you through fire.” Palm Beach County Fire Rescue personnel are responding to an increasing number of calls in golf-course communities for help in determining why carbon monoxide detectors are being set off. When they arrive, they find the issue is not carbon monoxide; it is hydrogen from the charging of golf carts that has set off the detectors.

The presence of hydrogen is a serious problem. When hydrogen levels reach 4 to 7 percent, hydrogen becomes extremely explosive. Security cannot stress how unsafe it is to walk away and charge a golf cart in a closed garage. Golf carts need to be charged in a well-ventilated area. With hydrogen present, a problem could develop by even touching the garage door switch or garage door light – all of which work off electricity. Golf cart batteries need to be periodically filled with distilled water because water evaporates. If water levels drop too low, hydrogen is emitted. The golf cart units before 2018 do not have safety mechanisms that shut off the charging if the water levels are too low. Hydrogen is very light and can leak into a home through cracks, crevices, and air vents. Once that happens, hydrogen gas can find an open flame, or even static electricity, setting off an explosion. If your carbon monoxide detector is set off, open your garage door manually. We recommend that all our members, have a carbon monoxide detector in your garage/cart storage area, not only to possibly detect excessive battery charging emissions, but also to protect against carbon monoxide poisoning, in case a vehicle is left running inside the garage. DO NOT CHARGE GOLF CARTS IN A CLOSED DOOR ENVIRONMENT.

Josue Encarnacion, PMP Director of Security Frenchman’s Creek Beach and Country Club

48 Frenchman’s Creek

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