The National Fire Protection Association presents this information to anyone using a generator, or planning on purchasing a generator for the upcoming hurricane and/or other power emergencies.
Downed utility lines, power company blackouts, heavy snow falls or summer storms can all lead to power outages. Many people turn to a portable generator for a temporary solution without knowing the risks.
• Generators should be used in well ventilated locations outside away from all doors, windows and vent openings.
• Never use a generator in an attached garage, even with the door open.
• Place generators so that exhaust fumes can’t enter the home through windows, doors or other openings in the building.
• Make sure to install carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in your home. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for correct placement and mounting height.
• Turn off generators and let them cool down before refueling. Never refuel a generator while it is running.
It’s important to remember…
• When plugging in appliances, make sure they are plugged directly into the generator or a heavy duty outdoor-rated extension cord. The cords should be checked for cuts, tears and that the plug has all three prongs, especially a grounding pin.
• If you must connect the generator to the house wiring to power appliances, have a qualified electrician install a properly rated transfer switch in accordance with the National Electrical Code® (NEC) and all applicable state and local electrical codes.
Carbon monoxide deaths have spiked in recent years as generator sales have risen.
Store fuel for the generator in a container that is intended for the purpose and is correctly labeled as such. Store the containers outside of living areas.
The United Illuminating Company offers this information on home generator safety:
Any home generator that plugs into your home’s wiring should be connected via a transfer switch by a licensed electrician. This ensures that when the generator is in use, house wiring is isolated from utility lines. Improper installation of generators can damage the generators, or create safety hazards for utility employees working on poles, or even the general public. If adding a natural gas-fired generator, consult your gas utility to ensure there is adequate pressure. Make sure exhaust is properly vented to reduce risk of carbon-monoxide poisoning.
• Southern Connecticut Gas Company: 800-659-8299
As Always, do not hesitate to call 911 if your carbon monoxide detector activates. Get OUT of the house!