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 and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning may include:
- Dull headache
- Nausea or vomiting
- Shortness of breath
- 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.