Safety tips for using a generator

If high winds and heavy rain knock out your power during a storm, a generator can help restore power to your home.

But do you know how to operate a generator safely?

Ryan Truxillo, MD with St. Bernard Parish Hospital offers the following generator safety tips:

  • Always follow manufacturer instructions when setting up a generator.
  • Never use a generator inside your home or garage.
  • Only use a generator outside in a well-ventilated area.
  • Place your generator at least 20 feet away from your home.
  • Double check that the exhaust is pointed away from any doors of vents.

It’s important to take precautions when operating a generator because they produce carbon monoxide gas.

Breathing in too much carbon monoxide could cause fainting or death.

According to the CDC, more than 20,000 Americans visit the emergency room and more than 400 die from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning each year.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are often flu-like and include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Chest pain
  • Confusion

Remember – you cannot smell, taste or see carbon monoxide.

Protect yourself and your family by installing battery-operated carbon monoxide alarms in your home.

If it goes off, call 9-1-1 and go outside.

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