STATE — Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is a danger of improperly using fuel-burning generators to cook, light, and heat their homes when electricity is knocked out.
The makers of First Alert home safety products offer these safety tips for operating a portable generator:
- Never use a portable generator indoors, including in your home, garage, basement, crawlspace, shed or partially-enclosed area – even with ventilation. Opening doors and windows or using fans will not prevent CO buildup in the home.
- Only use a portable generator outdoors in a dry area far away from doors, windows and vents that can allow CO to come indoors.
- If you have CO alarms, test them. If you do not have CO alarms and can access products at retail, it is wise to install CO alarms near sleeping areas. Make sure the alarm features a battery back-up.
- Get to fresh air right away if you start to feel dizzy or weak. The CO from generators can rapidly lead to full incapacitation and death.
- Plug appliances into a heavy duty, outdoor-rated extension cords and plug the cords into the generator.
- If you are concerned about theft, secure your generator outside.