Carbon monoxide exposure calls increase due to use of generators

The power outages across Austin have resulted in an increase in carbon monoxide calls due to the use of generators in or near garages, Austin-Travis County EMS says.

ATCEMS tweeted out at around 2 a.m. on February 2 that it received four 911 calls involving a total of 12 people in the last two hours. 

Five children and seven adults were involved in the incidents.

Officials remind people that the incidents can quickly turn deadly and offer the following tips.

  • NEVER run a generator in an enclosed space, not even in a garage with the doors open. It is never safe to do so.
  • Running generators should be at least 20 feet from your home, with the exhaust pointing away from structures.
  • Never attempt to heat your home with grills, stoves, or ovens.

Signs of carbon monoxide poisoning

ATCEMS says these are the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Confusion and loss of consciousness

If you think you've been exposed you should do the following:

  • Get away from the source
  • Go outside
  • Ventilate your home
  • Call 911 if you have symptoms