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Greenwich Police: Carbon Monoxide Poisonings Reported After Power Outages

Two workers were injured after a wall collapsed on them while working at a North Street home, Greenwich Police said.
Two workers were injured after a wall collapsed on them while working at a North Street home, Greenwich Police said. Photo Credit: File

GREENWICH, Conn. — Greenwich Police said they responded to two calls on Thursday evening for people overcome by carbon monoxide.

In both cases, no serious injuries were reported, police said. Both incidents are directly related to a loss of power after the storm and the use of alternate heating and power generation at their homes, causing the deadly gas to build up, police said.

Fire Marshal Shawn McDonnell of the Greenwich Fire Department is reminding everyone of the dangers of carbon monoxide, an odorless, colorless and potentially deadly gas.

Here are tips from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission on how to protect your family from carbon monoxide poisoning:

  • Have your home heating systems (including chimneys and vents) inspected and serviced annually by a trained service technician.
  • Never use portable generators inside homes or garages, even if doors and windows are open. Use generators outside only, far away from the home.
  • Never bring a charcoal grill into the house for heating or cooking. Do not barbecue in the garage.
  • Never use a gas range or oven for heating.
  • Open the fireplace damper before lighting a fire and keep it open until the ashes are cool. An open damper may help prevent buildup of poisonous gases inside the home.
  • Install battery-operated CO alarms or CO alarms with battery backup in your home outside separate sleeping areas.
  • Know the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning: headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, sleepiness, and confusion. If you suspect CO poisoning, get outside to fresh air immediately, and then call 911.

Because carbon monoxide is odorless, colorless, and otherwise undetectable to the human senses, people may not know that they are being exposed. The initial symptoms of low to moderate carbon monoxide poisoning are similar to the flu (but without the fever). They include:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness

High level carbon monoxide poisoning results in progressively more severe symptoms, including:

  • Mental confusion
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of muscular coordination
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Ultimately death

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