Fire officials warn of carbon monoxide as many turn to generators amid power outages
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Health officials are urging people to be aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide as many people turn to generators amid the power outages from Friday’s historic storm.
The Lexington Fire Department’s hazardous materials team makes dozens of runs every year involving carbon monoxide build-up. Just in the past few days, they’ve had to make several more, as people try to power their homes in the wake of Friday’s storm.
Lieutenant Shannon Poynter is a hazmat specialist and says they’ve been fortunate that the mild weather has kept the situation from being worse.
However, they’re worried about what they might see in the coming days as temperatures drop with around 15,000 Lexington customers remaining without power.
“We may see an uptick of CO runs because people are going to start operating their generators,” Lt. Poynter said.
Poynter says a lot of their calls have been caused by people running their generators too close to their homes or even inside their homes.
He understands this has become a difficult and frustrating situation for many in Lexington, but he’s urging people to power and heat their homes safely.
“If you’re going to operate the generator, don’t do it super close to the house. Eight to 10 feet, let the fumes dissipate into the atmosphere,” Lt. Poynter said.
Pointer added that you should always be mindful of the potential signs that you have carbon monoxide poisoning. These include headaches, dizziness, and nausea among other symptoms.
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