Texas family hospitalized after using charcoal grill to heat apartment

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HARRIS COUNTY, Texas (NewsNation Now) — Amid dangerously cold temperatures in Texas, a family near Houston was hospitalized for carbon monoxide poisoning, according to officials.

Six people, including four children, were taken to an area hospital on Monday afternoon.

The family lived in an apartment building and used a charcoal grill to heat the unit, according to Cy-Fair Fire Department.

“Please remember to never run a generator or grill inside your home. These produce carbon monoxide, which is a deadly, colorless and odorless gas,” the department said on Twitter.

The state is experiencing an “unprecedented shortfall of electric generation” and over 3 million Texans are without power as of Monday afternoon, with officials warning the outages could persist into Tuesday.

Each year, more than 400 Americans die from carbon monoxide poisoning, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

More than 20,000 people are sent to the emergency room, and more than 4,000 are hospitalized, the CDC says.

How to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning

  • Check or change the batteries in your carbon monoxide detector every six months. If you don’t have a battery-powered or battery back-up carbon monoxide detector, buy one soon.
  • Have your heating system, water heater and any other gas, oil, or coal-burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician every year.
  • Keep vents and flues free of debris. Debris can block ventilation lines.
  • Never leave the motor running in a vehicle parked in an enclosed or partially enclosed space, such as a garage.
  • Never run a motor vehicle, generator, pressure washer, or any gasoline-powered engine less than 20 feet from an open window, door, or vent where exhaust can vent into an enclosed area.
  • Never use a charcoal grill, hibachi, lantern, or portable camping stove inside a home, tent, or camper.
  • Never run a generator, pressure washer, or any gasoline-powered engine inside a basement, garage, or other enclosed structure, even if the doors or windows are open.
  • If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, call 911 or a health care professional right away.

Tips courtesy: CDC

Carbon monoxide poisoning is entirely preventable. You can protect yourself and your family by learning the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning and how to prevent it.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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