May 8, 2014 - Generator Caused Kingston CO Incident
Kingston fire officials responded to 6 Bavarian Road this morning to find six people suffering from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Two parents and three children were treated at local hospitals and a 19-year old woman who lived with the family was life-flighted to a Boston hospital.
Investigators determined the source of the CO was a generator running in the basement garage. Overnight, the garage doors that had been intended to be left open for ventilation were inadvertently closed. The generator provided power during a temporary power outage in the home.
Kingston Fire Chief Heath said, “There were no carbon monoxide alarms in the home, as required by law, and the smoke alarms had been disabled. This incident should make it clear to everyone just how important CO alarms are to every family’s safety.” Carbon monoxide alarms have been required in nearly all Massachusetts homes since 2006, after a Plymouth family suffered carbon monoxide poisoning and lost 7-year old Nicole, for whom the law is named.
State Fire Marshal Coan said, “Using generators inside the garage – even with the door open – poses a serious risk of CO poisoning. There’s just not enough ventilation.”
In 2012, Massachusetts fire departments reported 15,228 carbon monoxide (CO) related incidents to the Mass. Fire Incident Reporting System. Of those, the presence of CO was confirmed in 4,190 cases.
Use generators outdoors away from windows, doors and vents with the exhaust pointed away from the home. Don’t use them inside the garage, basement or partially enclosed areas no matter how well ventilated.