Portable generators can be a big help when the power is out for a long time. However, if they are not used properly, generators can pose serious safety threats, including death, due to the toxic carbon monoxide fumes they produce. Follow these tips when using a portable generator to help keep you and your family safe.
- Never use a generator indoors, even with the windows open, including in an attached garage.
- Install a carbon monoxide detector in your home, and test the batteries at least once a month.
- Use heavy duty, outdoor use extension cords when plugging your appliances into a generator.
- To avoid the risk of shock, use your generator only on a dry surface where rain or snow can’t leak underneath.
- Follow the manufacturer’s directions for installation and operation.
- Never plug a generator into a wall outlet in your home, as this can energize power lines that are thought to be dead.
- Be sure to operate the generator outdoors, away from your home.
Know the Symptoms of CO Poisoning
The most common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are headaches, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain and confusion. Exposure can lead to loss of consciousness and death. If a carbon monoxide detector goes off in your house, immediately move to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door. Make sure everyone inside the home is accounted for. Call for help from a fresh air location and stay there until emergency personnel give further instruction.
Source: National Fire Protection Association