Roanoke County, VA – Roanoke County Fire & Rescue is urging residents not to take grills and similar devices inside homes and try to use them as auxiliary heating devices.

Seven people were taken to hospitals after two carbon monoxide poisoning incidents over Christmas weekend. One was in the Cave Spring area and one was in the Hollins area. In both homes, power was out, and grills were being used to heat the homes, according to the fire department.

A statement from the county reads:

Carbon Monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that is a product of combustion, and is deadly. Your gas furnace or gas logs have been designed to be properly vented for indoor use but an outdoor grill is not designed for indoor use. What can you do?

2. Get a carbon monoxide alarm.

3. Check on your neighbors during power outages especially during extreme weather.