COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A 2-year old Columbus girl named Emily died last week of carbon monoxide poisoning, one of three deaths at a home on Benning Drive.
All because a gas powered generator was being used inside the home as an alternative to regular electrical power.
Despite warnings never to use gas generators inside – even warnings printed right on the generators themselves, as required by law – some people do run them in enclosed space - and every year about 500 people die as a result.
The kind of tragedy that happened to Emily and the others on Benning Drive is almost always preventable if a carbon monoxide detector is installed in the home.
A battery operated carbon monoxide detector typically costs $20. Detectors do save lives.
Carbon monoxide poisoning happens so fast; you rarely get a second chance to learn how fast it can kill.
The American Lung Association says people often don't even know they are about to die because carbon monoxide reduces the delivery of oxygen to the brain so fast.
And it's odorless and colorless. The perfect invisible killer.
Many might think carbon monoxide is a bigger problem up north, where the need for heat leads some to turn on a gas generator or a gas oven to make it warmer inside.
But the deaths on Benning Drive last week prove that temperatures or geography doesn't keep it from happening here.
Always keep the generator outdoors and at least 25 feet from any confined space.
History and statistics prove death will stalk anyone who uses a gas generator inside.
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