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Simple Steps to Portable Generator Safety

Simple Steps to Portable Generator Safety

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 solu-
tion without knowing the risks.

The primary hazards to avoid
when using a portable generator
are carbon monoxide poisoning,
electric shock or electrocution,
and fire.
Here are some simple steps
you can take to prevent the loss
of life and property resulting
from improper use of portable
To Avoid Carbon Monoxide

* Always use generators out-
doors, away from doors, win-
dows and vents.

* NEVER use generators
in homes, garages, basements,
crawl spaces, or other enclosed
or partially enclosed areas, even
with ventilation.
Simple Steps to Portable Generator Safety

* Place generators so that
exhaust fumes cannot enter the
home through windows, doors

or other openings in the build-
ing. The exhaust fumes must be

directed away from the building.

* Follows manufacturer’s in-

* Install battery-operated or
plug-in (with battery backup)

carbon monoxide (CO) detec-
tors in your home, following the

manufacturer’s instructions.
* Test CO detectors often and
replace batteries when needed.
To Avoid Electrical Hazards

* Keep the generator dry. Op-
erate on a dry surface under an

open, canopy-like structure.
* Dry your hands before
touching the generator.
* Plug appliances directly

into generator or use a heavy-du-
ty outdoor-rated extension cord.

Make sure the entire extension
cord is free of cuts or tears and

the plug has all three prongs, es-
pecially a ground pin.

* NEVER plug the genera-
tor into a wall outlet. This prac-
tice, known as back feeding, can

cause an electrocution risk to
utility workers and others served
by the same utility transformer.
* If necessary to connect to

house wiring to power applianc-
es, have a qualified electrician

install appropriate equipment.
To Avoid Fire Hazards

* Before refueling the gener-
ators, turn it off and let it cool.

Fuel spilled on hot engine parts
could ignite.
* Always store fuel outside of
living areas in properly labeled,
non-glass containers.
* Store fuel away from any
fuel-burning appliances.
Information for this fact sheet
was provided by the Consumer
Product Safety Commission.

Submitted by Capt. Tony Ors-
ini, Terryville Fire Department

Health and Safety Officer



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