LDH: Carbon monoxide poisoning increasing, 4 people have died, 141 taken to the hospital

Published: Sep. 7, 2021 at 5:13 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 7, 2021 at 6:56 AM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The Louisiana Department of Health has released new, eye-opening details this week. Since Hurricane Ida passed and left behind a path of destruction, four people have died from carbon monoxide poisoning.

They said 141 people have been taken to a hospital for the same thing.

Fire crews cannot stress the importance of generator safety enough. The state health department has some generator safety reminders for you from the State Fire Marshal’s office:

  • Place generators at least 20 feet away from your home.
  • Look for any air entry points into the home near your unit and ensure that those are properly closed and sealed off, such as windows or doors, air intakes, nearby dryer vents or crawl spaces.
  • Have a CO alarm
  • Give these generators breaks that allow for any concentrated exhaust to clear away from the area.
  • Open your windows and doors during this break to air out any concentration that may have collected in your home.

Here are some Facebook posts from fire departments about generator damage:

In addition:

  • Check the manufacturing specs to verify the installation meets those specs.
  • If there’s a concern that the installation standards were not met, get an appropriate party, like the installer, out to inspect it.
  • Ensure your generator is being appropriately maintained, including the oil change frequency requirements.

They said the most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain and confusion. CO symptoms are often described as “flu-like.” If you breathe in a lot of CO it can make you pass out or kill you. People who are sleeping or drunk can die from CO poisoning before they have symptoms.

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