List of generator safety tips for home and business use.

Graphic provided by National Weather Service Lake Charles.

When a hurricane or storm impacts an area and leaves residents without power, many turn to generator usage. Acadian Ambulance urges the public to always practice proper generator usage and safety.

  • Never run a generator in an enclosed space or indoors. Always place the generator at least 20 feet from the house with the engine exhaust directed away from windows and doors.
  • Don’t connect your generator directly to your home’s wiring.
  • Don’t plug a portable generator into an electrical outlet in your home or garage.
  • Don’t run a portable generator in the rain. 
  • Before refueling, turn off a gas-powered generator and let it cool.
  • Stock up on extra gasoline, but do not store it indoors.
  • Buy a generator with built-in CO safety technology. 

Running generators inside a closed space presents a serious danger of carbon monoxide poisoning. 

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas. Improperly ventilated appliances and engines, including generators, particularly in a tightly sealed or enclosed space, can allow carbon monoxide to accumulate to dangerous levels. Having a working carbon monoxide detector in your home is extremely important.

Signs of carbon monoxide poisoning

Graphic provided by Acadian Total Security.

Signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning may include:

  • Dull headache
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Confusion
  • Blurred vision
  • Loss of consciousness

Carbon monoxide poisoning can be particularly dangerous for people who are sleeping or intoxicated. People may have irreversible brain damage or even die before anyone realizes there’s a problem.

If you think you or someone you’re with may have carbon monoxide poisoning, get into fresh air and call 911.