Carbon Monoxide Poisoning, Electrocution and Fire are all Potentially Fatal Risks of Misusing Portable Generators.

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30th August 2023 – When hurricanes strike or power outages occur for other reasons, you may need to turn to your portable generator. Follow Accuweather‘s tips for operating generators safely to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning and other very real risks.

Portable Generator

Portable generators produce as much carbon monoxide as hundreds of cars and can kill a person within minutes, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

Carbon monoxide poisoning sends more than 20,000 peoples to the emergency room each year, according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). This is why generators should never be operated anywhere inside a home, including in garages or basements.

A 2012 CPSC report showed that portable generators were linked to more than 85 percent of non-fire carbon monoxide deaths associated with engine-driven tools between 1999 to 2012, and that many of those deaths were associated with Hurricane Katrina.

“If you’re using a portable generator, it needs to be a minimum of 30 feet away from the house while it’s running to eliminate the possibilities of carbon monoxide poisoning,” said Keith Pinkerton, franchise owner of global electrical service company Mr. Electric.

Even 15 feet away is not enough distance, as wind can blow the odorless, colorless and tasteless gas indoors, says Pinkerton.

The CPSC stated that generators should be operated in dry areas and kept away from windows, doors and any other openings into the home.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommended placing the generator in an area where it has 3 to 4 feet of clear space on all sides to ensure proper ventilation.

Quickly recognizing the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can mean the difference between life and death. These include dizziness, blurred vision, loss of consciousness, shortness of breath and nausea and vomiting, according to the Mayo Clinic.

People experiencing any symptoms should get to a place with fresh air immediately and seek professional medical help. Read More…