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Portable Generator Safety Tips

Courtesy of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Portable generators are useful when temporary or remote electric power is needed, but they also can be hazardous. The primary hazards to avoid when using a generator are carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning from the toxic engine exhaust, electric shock or electrocution, and fire. Every year, people die in incidents related to portable generator use. Incidents associated with portable generators reported to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) most commonly involve CO poisoning from generators used indoors or in partially-enclosed spaces.

Carbon Monoxide Hazard

NEVER use a generator in enclosed or partially-enclosed spaces. Generators can produce high levels of CO very quickly. When you use a portable generator, remember that you cannot smell or see CO. Even if you can't smell exhaust fumes, you may still be exposed to CO. If you start to feel sick, dizzy, or weak while using a generator, get to fresh air RIGHT AWAY. DO NOT DELAY. The CO from generators can rapidly lead to full incapacitation and death.

If you experience serious symptoms, get medical attention immediately. Inform medical staff that CO poisoning is suspected. If you experienced symptoms while indoors, have someone call the fire department to determine when it is safe to reenter the building.

Follow these safety tips to protect against CO poisoning:

Electrical Hazards

Follow these tips to protect against electrical hazards:

Fire Hazards

Follow these tips to protect against fire hazards:

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