Ice Storm 2021

Ice droops from tree branches in Denham Springs during a winter storm event on Monday, Feb. 15, 2021.

Officials are reporting two additional deaths related to the winter storm event that hit Louisiana last week, bringing the statewide total to five.

The Louisiana Department of Health confirmed the deaths of a 68-year-old man and a 44-year-old woman in Avoyelles Parish in a statement over the weekend.

In the statement, officials said the two died of carbon monoxide poisoning after a generator was placed in the camper they were staying in.

The coroner has confirmed these deaths as storm related, the Department of Health said.

To help avoid tragic outcomes, the Department of Health is reminding people of safety tips they should follow when temperatures drop.

Generator safety

-- Portable generators should never be used indoors. This includes in a garage, carport, basement, crawl space or other enclosed or partially enclosed area, even those with ventilation.

-- Gas-powered generators produce carbon monoxide, which is odorless and colorless. Inhaling carbon monoxide can very quickly lead to full incapacitation or death.

-- Opening windows or doors or using fans will not prevent the build-up of carbon monoxide. If you start to feel sick, dizzy or weak while using a generator, get to fresh air immediately.

-- Generators should be placed outside, more than 20 feet away from the home, doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors. Do not refuel when hot.

-- The generator should be kept dry and should not be used in wet conditions.

Heating safety

-- Make sure that your heating system has been properly serviced and is clean, working properly and ventilated to the outside. If you are going to use a fireplace or chimney, be sure that they are also inspected and cleaned.

-- Do not use gas or electric ovens or stoves for heating. A gas oven may go out or burn inefficiently, leading to carbon monoxide poisoning, and electric ovens were not designed for space heating.

-- Do not burn outdoor barbecue materials indoors, even in a fireplace.

-- Be sure that you have a working smoke detector and a carbon monoxide detector.

-- Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain and confusion.

Space heater safety

-- Put your space heater on the floor and leave it there.

-- Keep it away from water.

-- Keep it at least 3 feet away from anything flammable. This includes curtains, furniture and walls.

-- Never leave the space heater unattended in a room.

-- Plug the space heater directly into the wall and not a surge protector.

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