NewsLocal News


Corpus Christi Fire Marshal: running generators indoors a deadly mistake

Fire marshal: running generators indoors a deadly mistake
Posted at 9:33 PM, Feb 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-02 23:36:18-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — It's almost been a year since Texas experienced subfreezing temperatures for hours upon end, leading to rolling blackouts that lasted days for some people.

The February 2021 deep freeze left lots of people in the Coastal Bend with damage to their homes from pipes freezing and bursting.

A strong cold front in the current forecast had lots of people making preparations to their homes on Wednesday in hopes of avoiding a repeat of that damage. But, the storm prep list for Chris Kittles of Corpus Christi wasn't very extensive.

“We’re going to probably wrap up some plants," he said. "The wife’s having me get bird food to make sure all the birds are fed. That’s about it. We already tested the generator just in case, and I think we’re good to go.”

Generators are the subject of warning from Corpus Christi Fire Marshal Randy Paige.

He says too often, people run their generators indoors, which can quickly cause levels of deadly carbon monoxide gas to rise in your home — likely without your knowledge of it.

"You don’t smell carbon monoxide," Paige said. "You don’t taste it. You don’t know it’s there. You don’t see it."

He urges anyone who has a generator to only operate it outside and at least ten feet away from doors and windows that could let carbon monoxide inside your home. Not doing so often leads to deaths during power outages caused by natural disasters.

"It’s known as the silent killer," Paige said. "What we see is people go to sleep at night, and they don’t wake up the next morning."

Kittles is well aware of the danger.

“Outside — definitely outside," he said when asked where he has his generator placed at his home. “You don’t want the fumes in the house. You don’t want carbon monoxide."