Quick tips on how to use a generator safely

Posted: 6:33 AM, Aug 29, 2019
Updated: 2019-08-29 06:57:14-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Generators fly off store shelves every time a hurricane approaches our area. But it is important to make sure you are operating a generator safely at your home.

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Consumer Reports has several pieces of advice to power your home safely.

Never run a generator in an enclosed space or indoors.

Most generator-related injuries and deaths involve CO poisoning from generators used indoors or in partially enclosed spaces -- that includes the garage, spaces that can capture deadly levels of carbon monoxide.

Always place the generator at least 20 feet from the house with the engine exhaust directed away from windows and doors.

Consumer Reports also recommends you use a carbon monoxide alarm and don’t run a portable generator in the rain. You can buy tents for generators that keep them shielded but still well-ventilated.

Also, before refueling, turn off a gas-powered generator and let it cool. Stock up on extra gasoline and store it properly.

You can also add a stabilizer to the gas in the can to help it last longer, but don’t store gasoline near any potential sources of heat or fire, or inside the house.