Prevent fires, practice generator safety
September 11, 2017 – Residents using generators are asked to take necessary precautions for safe operation, especially as power is restored to more users.
“We have all made it this far, and we want to make sure that everyone continues to be safe,” said Flagler County Fire Rescue Chief Don Petito. “Generators can provide us wonderful relief when the power is out, but they can also be very dangerous.” Generator safety tips:
- Use proper care. Proper ventilation is critical to reducing the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning from a generator’s engine exhaust. Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is a common, serious danger that can cause death if generators are used improperly; this is particularly true when the fuel is not burned completely.
- Placement is key. Never use generators indoors or outside near windows, vents, or air intakes that could allow CO to come indoors.
- Keep other items clear. Maintain plenty of airflow space around the generator.
- Pay attention. Get fresh air immediately if you begin to feel sick, dizzy or light-headed or experience flu-like symptoms.
- Buy CO detector. Because CO is invisible and odorless, it makes sense to buy a CO detector (similar to or sometimes combined in a smoke detector) to warn of rising CO levels.
- “Ground” your generator. Carefully follow all instructions on properly “grounding” the generator.
- Keep the generator dry. Short circuits may occur in wet conditions, which can cause a generator fire. If needed, place the generator under an open canopy-type structure.
- Be prepared. Always keep a fully charged fire extinguisher nearby.
- Leave it to the professionals. To avoid electric shock or electrocution, do not try to fix or otherwise work on a generator.
- Organize your cords. Keep cords out of the way to avoid injury, but keep them in plain view to keep track of cord damage (such as fraying or cuts) that could cause a fire.
- Do not “back feed” power. Do not plug the generator into a wall outlet. Back feeding will put you and others, including utility line workers, at serious risk because the utility transformer can increase low voltage from the generator to thousands of volts.
- Don’t touch. It’s hot. The exterior portions of a generator, even if operated for only a short period of time, can become hot. Avoid touching the generator without protective gear and keep debris clear to avoid a fire.
Regarding Generator Fuel
- Store fuel in an approved container or holding tank designed for such use.
- Only use fuel that is specifically recommended in the owner’s manual. Never store fuel indoors.
- Do not keep fuel near the generator while the generator is in use; this could start a fire.
- Never refuel the generator while it is running.
Check for current information on Flagler County’s website www.flaglercounty.org, or tune into the county’s partner radio station WNZF, 1550 am, 106.3 fm, KIX fm 98.7 and the Flagler Radio App worldwide. Follow “Flagler County Government” or “Flagler County Emergency Management on Facebook or Twitter. The county’s social media team will provide updates through these official accounts:
- Flagler TV Spectrum Channel 492
To check power outage status, or to report an outage go to www.fplmaps.com