LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Lansing officials say suspected carbon monoxide poisoning has killed two adults over the weekend.
Lansing Fire Department responded to more than a dozen carbon monoxide incidents as well says Assistant Fire Chief Michael Tobin. Except in the incident where the two people died, all the other residences had carbon monoxide detectors and alarms.
Tobin said the victims were running a gas-powered generator inside the home. At this time the victims have not been identified and their genders have not been released.
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas Tobin calls “the silent killer.” “You’re not going to know it’s there,” he says.
Early symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include feeling lightheaded. Following is a pounding headache. “If you’re asleep – unless the headache wakes you up – you just won’t wake up,” from carbon monoxide poisoning, Tobin says.
With just under 5,000 people still without power Monday in the Lansing Board of Water and Light service area, generators continue to get high use. While generators can sustain the necessary items in a home, including refrigeration, they can be deadly, says Tobin.
To avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, Tobin says generators should be set up in open spaces at least 20 feet from any building. He says the generator should also be hooked up properly and monitored.
“If it seems like it’s overworking, it is,” says Tobin.
He also says generator owners should wait for the system to cool for at least 30 minutes before refueling. The excess heat from the engine could cause gas to ignite.