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Families follow generator warning labels closely after several carbon monoxide fatalities

Posted at 12:27 AM, Aug 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-29 01:27:40-04

LAKE CHARLES — With more than half a million power outages in Louisiana, there is a big emphasis on generator safety following the deaths of five people in Lake Charles. The family died of carbon monoxide poisoning. Firefighters say the generator was running in an attached garage with the door partially open.

The news is unsettling for many relying on generators. In Lake Charles you can hear the buzz of generators. Many families have returned despite the un-liveable conditions, and now many families are taking a second look at their generators in the interest of safety.

Although the mayor has called for people to look and leave, some people say there is just so much work to do, and they want to get started right now.

"Get off of 10 onto 210 then reality just sets home, just, I cant describe it" Roy Cates said.

Cates returned to his Lake Charles home Friday, he quickly set up a generator.

"I have not had to live off of one before, I have some neighbors that helped me out, its running it works" Cates said.

With a majority of deaths in Laura's aftermath blamed on generators, Cates has since moved his unit even farther from his home.

"I've got it set up away from the house, if we get a window unit, well get an extra long extension cord, well have the generator far away from the house" Cates explained.

With carbon monoxide a real threat, Cates hopes others will pay close attention to the warning labels.

"Were keeping it away from the house, not underneath the car port, It won't be near any open doors or windows, anything like that" Cates said.

The department of health reminds everyone about generator safety.

  • NEVER use a generator in your home or garage, even if the doors and windows are open.
  • Generators should be kept dry, and kept 20-feet away from windows, doors and vents, and with the exhaust pointing away.
  • Turn off your generator and let it cool off before refueling.
  • NEVER plug a portable generator directly into a wall outlet.. it can be dangerous for both you, your neighbors and electricians.