Portable generators can be a lifesaver during power outages, providing electricity for essential appliances and devices. However, improper use of generators can pose a serious risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can cause illness, unconsciousness, and even death if inhaled in high concentrations.

To keep yourself and your loved ones safe when using a portable generator, follow these important guidelines:

  1. Always operate your generator outdoors, at least 20 feet away from your home, doors, and windows. Never run a generator inside your home, garage, or any partially enclosed space.
  2. Position the generator so that the exhaust fumes are directed away from your home and any nearby buildings.
  3. Install battery-operated carbon monoxide detectors in your home, and test them regularly to ensure they are functioning properly.
  4. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for operating and maintaining your generator, including proper fueling and storage of gasoline.
  5. Never refuel your generator while it is running or still hot. Spilled gasoline can ignite, causing a fire or explosion.
  6. Use heavy-duty, outdoor-rated extension cords to connect appliances to your generator, and ensure that the cords are not frayed or damaged.

By following these safety guidelines, you can enjoy the benefits of a portable generator during a power outage while minimizing the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Remember, your safety should always be the top priority when using any electrical equipment.