SAVANNAH, GA. (November 14, 2013): Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police are warning the public to use caution as winter weather approaches and creative heating techniques are utilized.

Police find some residents resort to alternative heat, including kerosene heaters and gasoline generators and others are allowing vehicles to run unattended to warm up.

Metro Police called in the Department of Family and Children Services this morning after finding a woman and two children unconscious, apparently from carbon monoxide fumes.

West Chatham Precinct officers responded to a residence in the Pooler area just after midnight and found the woman and the children, age 14 and 7, semi-conscious or unconscious in a bedroom. They were transported to Memorial University Medical Center where they remain hospitalized.

The house had no electrical service and a gasoline generator had been placed in a garage next to the bedroom to power an electrical heater.

Residents are warned that gasoline, kerosene or propane-powered equipment should never be used in closed areas. They can emit carbon monoxide and explosive gases.

Each year, police receive reports of vehicles stolen after they are left running while unattended. Police suggest drivers warm up their vehicles as they are driving them.
“It is heart-breaking for us when we see people injured as they try to keep warm,” said Interim Chief Julie Tolbert, “and we know each year we get a number of calls where cars are stolen after being left unattended. The convenience of having a warm car for a few minutes will be quickly forgotten while dealing with the ramifications of having it stolen.”

Individuals with no place to turn can call 2-1-1 from any phone in the area to reach the United Way Information and Referral Call Center.