The massive destruction caused by the tornados that struck Alabama and several other states last month created a huge demand for generators. Soon after the disaster, people started to buy generators as fast as they became available. Unfortunately, lots of folks don’t know how to properly operate a generator and many do not recognize the safety risks that accompany generator use. Regardless of the circumstances, all persons should make sure they know how to use a generator safely before using one. Soon after the April tornados struck, a number of people suffered carbon monoxide poisoning from the generators and had to be hospitalized. When using a generator there are some simple recommendations that must be followed:
• Do not use the generators indoors or in a poorly-ventilated area because the fumes will make people sick and can be deadly. This is especially true for babies and pregnant women. Generators emit carbon monoxide gas. The warning sticker on a generator says that carbon monoxide can kill you in minutes.
• When operating a generator in a garage, the garage door must be left open.
• If you must bring a generator inside a home or business, make sure it’s turned off.
While these recommendations are fairly simple – and apply plain old common sense – it’s amazing that they are not always followed. Remember, failing to follow basic safety rules can cost you your life or the lives of family members. So my advice is to learn all you can about how to safely use generators, including their use in emergency situations, and then be safe!
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