Stay Safe When Using a Generator

During hurricane season, many communities experience power outages during and after storms. If you have a portable generator or are planning on purchasing one, remember to correctly use your generator and avoid dangers like carbon monoxide poisoning, electrocution and fire.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is called the “Invisible Killer” because it is an odorless, colorless and poisonous gas. Carbon monoxide poisoning can occur when a generator is used in an enclosed space, like a garage. Install CO detectors in your home and whenever you use a generator, remember to:

  • Never use your generator indoors, in the garage or other partially enclosed spaces, even if the doors and windors are open. Using fans will not prevent CO build-up.
  • Always use generators outside, more than 20 feet away from your home, doors, and windows. Refuel the generator outside.

Follow these tips to avoid electrocution and fire:

  • Always connect the generator to appliances with heavy-duty extension cords. Never try to power the house wiring by plugging the generator into a wall outlet.
  • Do not use a generator in a wet area or in rainy conditions.
  • Turn off the generator before refueling and allow it to cool for 15-20 minutes.
  • Do not store fuel for your generator in your house. Gasoline, propane, kerosene, diesel and other flammable liquids should be stored outside living areas in properly labeled, non-glass safety containers.