When readers last stopped in, our blog shared about the dangers of portable generators. In our last article, we shared the importance of picking the right generator for your family. Today’s blog is about carbon monoxide safety.

Carbon monoxide safety tips:

Did you know carbon monoxide can kill humans in as little as five minutes. According to safety guidelines from the National Institute of Health, if levels are high enough, CO can kill you in as little as five minutes. Data shows that from 2005 to 2017, more than nine hundred people died from carbon monoxide poisoning while using portable generators.

To reduce the chance of carbon monoxide poisoning, new updated portable generators feature a built-in sensor that triggers and automatic shutoff if CO builds to dangerously high levels in an enclosed space. Some even have engines that emit less carbon monoxide in the first place.

In recent Consumer Report test data, it showed these safety features are likely to save lives. Speak with Sanford Electric Company’s professionals that have plenty of experience with generators. Be sure to discuss which generator is the safest for your family.

Whether you are running an older model without an auto shutoff or you bought a new generator which implements safety standards, we always advise customers to follow safety advice we will now share.

Generator rules:

Never, under any circumstance, run a generator in an enclosed space. Most generator-related deaths or injuries involve carbon monoxide poisoning from generators used indoors or in partially enclosed spaces. This is why we emphasize the importance of CO safety.

Portable generators should not be left in the following spaces:

  • garages
  • porches
  • basements
  • bedrooms
  • anywhere indoors
  • under twenty feet away to a house

Always ensure portable generators are at least twenty feet away from a house or living area. The engine exhaust should constantly directed away from windows and doors. Do not place a portable generator within twenty feet of another home or living space.

For those that plan to use their generator to keep lights on during a cleanup effort, use a working battery-operated CO detector at the same time. A carbon monoxide alarm provides another layer of CO poisoning preventative. Please use these safety tips to avoid a potentially deadly mistake.

How to keep your family safe while using a portable generator:

Do not run a portable generator in the rain. There are tents made for generators that protect them from the rain. Generator tents keep them shielded but are ventilated enough to avoid danger. Discuss any generator accessories with your local Sanford Electricians before ever using them.

When it is time to refuel a gas-powered generator, turn it off, and let it cool before refueling. A hot engine can easily ignite a fire if gasoline is spilled. You should never be near a hot generator anyways as they can easily burn skin.

You may stock up on extra gasoline but only if it is stored properly. Before a storm, discuss the risks and rewards of storing gasoline with safety professionals. Do you own research as well.

Before a hurricane or tropical storm, you will want to stock up on extra fuel. Be sure to only store gas in an ANSI-approved container in a cool, well-ventilated place. You may discuss adding stabilizer to the gas to make it last longer.

Do not store the gasoline near potential sources of heat or fire such as a dryer or water heater. Call our office today to discuss how you can be prepared for power outages. Power outage preparedness is one of our specialties!

Come back next time for more electrical tips and news!

Staff Writer

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