Police warning over generators after couple found dead on Boxing Day

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Sussex Police has urged those living without power to keep generators well ventilated after a couple were found dead on Boxing Day.

Ken and Dorothy Swallow were found by family members at their Hurstpierpoint home and are believed to have died from carbon monoxide poisoning.

A police spokesman said: “The couple were found shortly after midday on Boxing Day. There were no suspicious circumstances.

“It is thought they succumbed to fumes from a generator left running overnight following a power cut.”

Mr Swallow, aged 70, was a former manager of Burgess Hill and Haywards Heath football clubs and was very well known across Mid Sussex.

His wife, Dorothy, was 71.

Sussex Police has since warned of the dangerous of using unventilated generators.

Inspector Andy Kundert, Sussex Police’s emergency planning officer, said: “We’re set for another very stormy period and in addition to the usual hazards out on the roads of Sussex, there’s potential for coastal and inland flooding around high tide times around lunchtime and midnight on Friday (January 3).

“Be prepared for hazards on the road when you are driving, not least fallen trees and stretches of floodwater. Don’t assume that the road is clear around the next corner - it may not be!

“If you are unfortunate enough to lose your power, please be careful in making other arrangements. Be aware of the dangers of naked flames or portable cooking equipment and make sure that anything that burns fuel, such as camping stoves or generators, is well ventilated so that poisonous fumes don’t build up indoors.”

He added: “All the emergency services, local authorities and other agencies will be working to make sure the county is as safe as possible.”