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ATCEMS issues warning about carbon monoxide exposure as residents try to stay warm

ATCEMS said it had four 911 calls for carbon monoxide exposure in the two hours between midnight and 2 a.m. Thursday.

AUSTIN, Texas — Austin-Travis County EMS (ATCEMS) is issuing a warning to residents trying to stay warm amid continued widespread power outages: beware of carbon monoxide exposure.

ATCEMS said between midnight and 2 a.m. Thursday, it received four 911 calls for carbon monoxide exposure, involving a total of 12 people, including five children. The incidents all involved the use of generators in or near garages.

ATCEMS said these incidents can quickly turn deadly.

To help keep people safe, the agency shared a series of tips.

ATCEMS said it is never safe to run a generator in an enclosed space – not even a garage with the doors open. Running generators should be at least 20 feet from your home, with the exhaust pointing away from structures.

You should also never attempt to heat your home with grills, ovens or stoves.

According to ATCEMS, symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include dizziness, headache, weakness, nausea or vomiting and confusion and loss of consciousness.

If you think you have been exposed to carbon monoxide, you should get away from the source, go outside, ventilate your home and call 911.

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