As winter approaches, long-term residents of the Bluegrass will remember past ice storms and the power outages that came with them. Portable generators can help us stay warm in such circumstances – but, like any power equipment, we need to be careful to use them properly. This post comes to us from our partners at Kentucky Emergency Management.
Many households run generators during a power outage and homeowners should take extra precautions to avoid injury. Gasoline or diesel fuel powered generators can produce potentially deadly levels of carbon monoxide and should be operated only in well-ventilated, covered, unheated areas – never inside. You should always practice extreme caution when using a generator to power your home:
- Make sure the generator is listed by an independent testing organization, such as Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL).
- Protect the generator from exposure to rain, but under no circumstances should generators be used indoors, including a garage. Do not operate the generator near any open windows or doorways.
- Before using a generator, make sure you have installed a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm near sleeping areas to alert you in the event of increased levels of CO in your home.
- Never connect a generator to the home’s electrical system; instead, plug what you want to power directly into the generator.
- Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and maintenance schedule.