Pasco County Building Construction Services Department is reminding residents to use portable generators with caution. While the use of electric generators can make your recovery from a storm more comfortable, they can result in injury or death if not used properly.
Follow these tips to ensure the safe operation of your generator during any power outage:
To avoid carbon monoxide poisoning:
- Always use generators outdoors, away from doors, windows and vents. NEVER use them in homes, garages, or other enclosed or partially-enclosed areas, even with ventilation.
- Install & test battery-operated or battery-backup carbon monoxide alarms in your home.
To avoid a potentially fatal electric shock:
- Keep the generator dry and on a dry surface in an open area.
- Plug appliances directly into the generator or use a heavy-duty, outdoor-rated extension cord that is free of cuts or tears and has all three prongs, especially a grounding pin.
- NEVER plug the generator into a wall outlet which can cause electrocution risk to utility workers and others served by the same utility transformer.
To avoid a fire hazard:
- Before refueling the generator, turn it off and let it cool.
- Always store fuel outside of living areas in labeled containers.
- Store fuel away from any fuel-burning appliance.