Hurricane Tip: Use Portable Electric Generators Safely

Posted: June 2, 2021 at 11:00 am

Electricity powers many conveniences in our lives, so it’s only natural for families to turn to portable electric generators during long-term outages. However, if generators are not used properly, things can turn deadly.

During 2009 – 2019, 686 people died due to carbon monoxide poisoning related to portable generator use, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Practice portable generator safety

  • Follow manufacturers’ directions for installation and operation.
  • To avoid electric shock, ensure the unit is properly grounded as described in the operation manual.
  • Never use indoors, in garages or carports.
  • Use only in a well-ventilated, dry area away from air intakes to the house.
  • Do not overload the generator by powering more appliances and equipment than the unit can handle. Check the operation manual for the unit’s output rating.
  • Plug appliances directly into the receptacle outlet of the generator using heavy-duty extension cords. Cords should be rated for outdoor use and have a grounded, three-pronged plug.
  • Never plug a generator into a household outlet.
  • Do not refuel a generator while it is running.
  • Store fuel outside of living areas and away from heat sources like water heater pilot lights.
  • Turn off all equipment powered by the generator before shutting it down.
  • Keep children and pets away from generators.

The Centers for Disease Control recommends using a portable generator at least 20 feet from your home. Please keep your loved ones safe by practicing safe generator use.