Whether you have been the recent victim of a tornado or a hurricane, generators can help you and your loved ones recover following a storm. Before purchasing or using a generator, you must understand the various safety guidelines.
Data suggest that many people purchased generators after Hurricane Ian passed through the U.S. Many generators are now affordable, ranging from $400 to $1,200. Budget generators often struggle to provide enough power to run multiple items at once, however. Meanwhile, other people are now purchasing whole homes that are connected to standby generators. These house-wide generators are powered by natural gas or propane and start up automatically. These generators are much more expensive, though; they typically cost $8,000 and up.
Generator use of any kind is not entirely without risks. The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that 85 people die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning. This poisoning is often the result of placing generators in enclosed spaces. It is also extremely dangerous to refuel generators while they are running.
Safety Advice to Follow When Using a Generator
To make sure that you and your loved ones stay safe when using a generator, follow some important safety precautions, which include the following:
- Always read the labels and instructions that come with generators. These include instructions as well as warnings placed on the generator.
- Examine the portable generator’s condition regularly and make sure that it receives routine maintenance.
- Under no circumstances should you use a generator inside a closed space, including a crawlspace, garage, home, or basement. Remember, merely opening doors or windows does not provide adequate ventilation to avoid the accumulation of deadly carbon monoxide.
- Use portable generators outside. Make sure these generators are a minimum of 20 feet away from your house. Also, make sure to direct the generator’s exhaust away from you. Make sure the generator also points away from any other building that a person might enter.
- If you are in the market to purchase a generator, consider a portable generator with an automatic shut-off when it detects certain levels of carbon dioxide. Some portable generators with this shut-off feature also give off lowered emissions.
Use a Carbon Monoxide Detector When Using a Generator
Due to the high risk of carbon monoxide poisoning presented by generators, it is a good idea to install multiple carbon monoxide detectors in your home. Consider the following best practices:
- Place carbon monoxide detectors on every level of your residence, including close to where people sleep.
- Make sure that your carbon monoxide detector is equipped with a battery backup.
- Routinely test your carbon monoxide detectors to make sure that they work properly.
- Replace the batteries inside the carbon monoxide detectors regularly and often.
- Never ignore a carbon monoxide alarm if it goes off. Instead, promptly go outside and call 911.
Speak With an Experienced Accident Attorney
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