Health Tip: Safe use of a generator

(HealthDay News) -- If your electricity goes out and you use a generator to power your home, you must read the manufacturer's instructions and take certain precautions. Engines release carbon monoxide, which can be deadly if the devices are used improperly.

The U.S. National Safety Council offers these suggestions when using a portable generator:

  • Always keep the generator outside. Never put one inside your home, garage or any enclosed area.
  • Even outside, keep your generator away from your home's windows and vents.
  • Use a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector at the spot in your home nearest the generator.
  • To prevent fire, let your generator cool for at least two minutes before you add gasoline. Make sure the gasoline is fresh.
  • Never run your generator next to anything that could explode or catch fire.
  • Don't plug a generator directly into one of your home's A/C outlets. Instead, have a licensed electrician install a power transfer switch.
  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions and maintenance guide to make sure your generator runs properly.

-- Diana Kohnle

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