Know the risks and plan before you purchase that generator
While generators are great resources for the home in a long-term power outage, there are three major risks that homeowners should be aware of: carbon monoxide poisoning, electrocution and electric shock, and fire.
Carbon monoxide poisoning
Keep generators outdoors, away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide (CO) indoors. CO cannot be seen or smelled; if you start to feel sick, dizzy or weak while using a generator, get to fresh air immediately and call for assistance!
Do not attempt to operate a generator inside a garage with the door open. Place the portable generator in an outdoor location at least 25 feet away from doors and windows.
Install CO alarms in central locations on every level of your home and outside sleeping areas so you’ll be alerted right away.
Electrocution or electric shock
Water and electricity do not mix—and that stands true with generator safety, too. To avoid electrocution, do not use a generator in rainy or wet conditions and do not handle it with wet hands to avoid electric shock.
Burns and fire
Store fuel for the generator in an American National Standards Institute-approved container in a cool, well-ventilated place. Check the instructions or the label on the generator to determine what type of fuel to use. To guard against accidental fire, do not store it near a fuel-burning appliance, such as a natural gas water heater in a garage. Before refueling your gas-powered generator, turn it off and let it cool. Gasoline spilled on hot engine parts could ignite.