Tuscaloosa, AL – On Tuesday, Tuscaloosa firefighters explained how carbon monoxide poisoning killed two people earlier this month.
Firefighters responded to a home on 4th Street East in Tuscaloosa’s Alberta City community on Jan. 15. There was no power in the house and the couple living there was using the generator inside their home.
The Tuscaloosa County Metro Homicide Unit identified the victims as 38-year-old David Sanders and 37-year-old Lakeshia Lark. Foul play isnt suspected in their deaths.
The gas generator was reportedly running when first responders went to the home in Alberta City to check on the people living there.
Tuscaloosa Fire Marshal Gene Holcomb said gas generators should never be run inside a house.
Holcomb explained how a gas generator killed Sanders and Lark nearly two weeks ago.
“It was in an area of the house away from the area they were, but because of the wind conditions or whatever caused that generator and that exhaust to expand in rest of the house, even though they thought maybe they had it ventilated well enough where it wasn’t,” Holcomb said.
Carbon monoxide from a generator can build up inside rooms that are not properly ventilated. The gas is colorless and odorless. Breathing it can cause sleep and headaches after prolonged exposure.
It’s now suggested that you should have battery-powered or battery back-up carbon monoxide detectors inside your home, along with smoke detectors. New building codes require carbon monoxide detectors in every hallway and bedroom.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says more than 400 Americans die from carbon monoxide poisoning annually.
The CDC offers these safety tips to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning:
Have your heating system, water heater and any other gas or coal-burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician every year
Do not use portable flameless chemical heaters indoors
Never use a generator inside your home, basement or garage or less than 20 feet from any window, door or vent
Have your chimney checked and cleaned every year
Make sure your gas appliances are vented properly