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How to Use Portable Generators Safely

Monday, December 18, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

With the recent hurricanes pummeling the United States in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico, large numbers of areas have been left without power. Many families turn to using a portable generator for electricity in order to stay safe and alive while waiting for electricity to be restored. While generators can often provide lifesaving electricity, they also pose a great risk of death from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning if used improperly.

After the hurricane in Florida, several carbon monoxide poisoning deaths were reported resulting from portable generators being used inside garages and homes. Portable generators are like cars – they should never be operated inside a garage or inside of a house. Follow these safety tips to make sure that you are using your portable generator correctly and safely:

  1. NEVER Use a Portable Generator Inside of your Home

Portable generators emit deadly carbon monoxide gas that is colorless and odorless. One generator running inside your garage can emit the same amount of carbon monoxide as hundreds of mid-size cars. Do not place a generator inside the garage, inside your home, or in a shed or near open windows or vents.

  1. Place Generators in a Place with Open Space and Distance

The generator should be placed outdoors only, at least 20 feet from your home. Generators should also be placed at least 20 feet from open windows, doors and vents so the gas doesn’t seep into your home.

  1. Install Carbon Monoxide Monitors in your Home and Pay Attention

Because carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless, it’s known as the “invisible killer.” It can incapacitate and kill a family within minutes. The only way to detect high levels of carbon monoxide in your home is with a carbon monoxide (CO) monitor and alarm. Install a monitor outside the hallways of all bedrooms in your house. The monitor and alarm should be battery operated or have a backup battery in place. Always pay attention to a CO alarm and call 911 just to be safe. Immediately leave the house if the CO alarm sounds as there isn’t much time to escape.

Following these safety tips can help keep your family safe if you need to use a portable generator after a storm. If an accident does occur, you can count on Alexander Law Group to be on your side. If you or someone you know was severely injured in an accident in the home, contact Alexander Law Group, LLC online or call us at 888.777.1776. Our lawyers will work to get you the maximum settlement possible.

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