21 taken to Lee County hospitals due to CO poisoning
Generator use following a major storm is common, but Lee County EMS reminds residents they must follow several safety rules while power restoration efforts are ongoing.
One of the most significant risks from generator use is carbon monoxide, or CO, poisoning. CO is a colorless, odorless gas that is a byproduct of combustion. The exhaust from generators contains this gas, and keeping the exhaust away from the home and any ventilation in to the home is imperative. Never use a portable electric generator indoors or in an attached garage.
Residents should run generators in a well-ventilated, dry area away from intakes into the home and protected from rain; an ideal spot would be under a canopy away from the home or in an open, freestanding shed. Install carbon monoxide alarms inside your home as a protection against the gas emitted from generators.
Lee County EMS has transported 21 patients with suspected CO poisoning since the storm has passed.
Residents can call 239-337-2000 and request a check of your generator exhaust. This is done at no cost by local fire departments and districts.
Source: Lee County