Tulsa's emergency responders are reporting many calls of carbon monoxide poisonings. The News On 6's Emory Bryan reports many of those calls are coming from people using generators indoors. While the breaking limbs and the downed power lines might seem like the most imminent threat, the Tulsa Fire Department says it's most worried about the abrupt rise in carbon monoxide poisonings since the power went out.
In Tulsa, 10 people from a home on North Lewis needed treatment after they fell ill and called for help. The family was running their generator inside the house. The fire department says several families have made the same mistake.
"The majority of these are the result of people bringing generators inside their home, inside the space they're trying to occupy and this in an internal combustion engine which produces nothing but carbon monoxide, absolutely do not do that," said Tulsa Fire Captain Larry Bowles.
EMSA and the fire department were kept busy responding to reports of detectors going off at homes with no power.
"Gas heaters, charcoal grills that sort of thing in their home for heat," said EMSA's Tina Wells. There are power lines down all over the city, and some people trying to use generators. That's just fine if people use caution. The problem is when people try to bring them into their garages or worse into their homes. The fire department says that can be a deadly mistake.
"If you're using a gas stove to stay warm, that too produces carbon monoxide so open a window and if you can get your hands on a CO2 detector, do so," advises Tulsa Fire Captain Larry Bowles.
No one in Tulsa has died from carbon monoxide poisoning during this storm, but the biggest problems come at night, when people aren't awake to recognize the first signs of what can kill them in their sleep.
Health officials say symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include dizziness, headaches, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, chest pain, confusion and a loss of coordination.