Indoor generator use sends 5 to the hospital for carbon monoxide poisoning

Five people were taken to the hospital early Tuesday morning for carbon monoxide poisoning after they ran a generator indoors, police said.

Miami-Dade Police Spokeswoman Robin Pinkard said police found the group around 12:30 a.m. at their home on the 1000 block of Southwest 99th Place. They were taken to Kendall Regional Hospital. Their condition is unknown.

[Before you turn on that generator, know these safety tips. They could save your life.]

With millions of Floridians without power in the wake of Hurricane Irma, many have turned to generators to fill the gap. These gasoline or diesel-powered engines produce Carbon Monoxide heavy exhaust when they create energy, which is toxic in high doses. Running a generator in an enclosed space fills the room with carbon monoxide and can seriously harm or kill whoever breaths it in.

The break between full electricity restoration and a hurricane is a common period for these cases. After Hurricane Ike in 2008, the Centers for Disease Control recorded 54storm-related carbon monoxide exposures and at least seven deaths, all in the four days after the storm hit.

Between 1999 and 2012, the Consumer Product Safety Commission reported there were 800 poisoning deaths in the U.S. caused by portable generators.