Officials Offer Generator Advice

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STATE – In the past, enduring a power outage was as simple as starting the fireplace. Not anymore. Fewer and fewer homes have either fireplaces or access to an alternate method of heating and cooking. New Jersey residents affected by the storms of 2011 may want to consider purchasing an emergency generator.

Without electricity, air conditioning and cooking systems may fail, televisions and landline telephones won’t work, basements can flood and security systems can falter. Even those with natural gas heating systems are not immune to concerns. Many of the systems have an electric ignition switch and may have electric blowers to diffuse the heat; without the use of those, the system may be useless.

Generators may be purchased as backup systems, for use during emergency outages, and are available locally at home improvement stores or online. Prices and sizes vary. Consult a professional to find the unit best suited to your needs.

Experts from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) advise to never run a generator inside a building – not even a garage; the fumes can be deadly. They also recommend hiring a professional electrician to connect the system to your home’s breaker box, a project that typically takes less than two hours.

Tips and other information relating to protecting your property from natural hazards with use of a generator may be found in the online library at

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