Portable Generator Safety Tips You Need to Know

Prepare for winter storm Nemo with these essential safety recommendations.


Are you preparing that generator you purchased after Hurricane Sandy? If so, keep in mind these safety tips for generators and more.

Generators and Heating Units 

  • Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devise inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. 
  • Locate units away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors. 
  • Never contact a generator directly to your home's wiring unless your home has been wired for generator use. 
  • Portable generator safety information is also posted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Carbon Monoxide 

  • Install carbon monoxide alarms in central locations on every level of your home and outside sleeping areas to provide an early warning of accumulating carbon monoxide. 
  • If a carbon monoxide alarm sounds, move quickly to a fresh air location outdoors, or by an open window or door. 
  • Call 911 from the fresh air location and remain there until emergency personnel arrive to assist you. 

Gasoline Safety

  • Gasoline containers should never be brought inside. Store and use outside.
  • Never smoke or use any item that can cause a spark anywhere near gasoline.
  • Only use "approved" gasoline containers.

Candle Safety

  • Candles are not recommended, but if they must be used, follow these guidelines. 
  • Put candles in sturdy metal, glass or ceramic holders and place them where they cannot be easily knocked down.
  • Keep candles at least 12 inches from anything that can burn.
  • Keep candles out of reach of children and pets.
  • Children should never be allowed to play with matches, lighters or candles. 
  • Never use a candle where medical oxygen is being used. The two can combine to create a large unexpected fire. 
  • Extinguish candles after use and before going to bed or leaving the house. 
  • Keep candles away from windows where they can ignite curtains. 
  • Never leave candles unattended. 

Water Pipes

  • For those who still have no power or heat, consider turning off your water in your home at the main shut-off to prevent broken water pipes or keep water from trickling from the tap to keep the water flowing -- this will lessen the chance of pipes freezing.

Power lines

  • Never assume that a downed power line is not energised, as it could be "live."
  • To report a downed wire, call 911.
  • Never go near or touch an electrical wire or anything in contact with the wire. 


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