ESFI offers a comprehensive generator safety and generator installation tips list for consumers to shed light on the dangers and precautions to take when using generators:
• Never operate a generator inside your home or in other enclosed or partially enclosed spaces. Generators can very quickly produce high levels of carbon monoxide (CO), which can be deadly.
• Make sure your home is equipped with a battery-operated or battery back-up carbon monoxide alarm.
• Opening doors and windows or operating fans to attempt to ventilate a generator will not prevent carbon monoxide build-up in the home. Even with a working CO alarm, you should never use a gasoline-powered generator inside your home or in a garage.
• Get to fresh air right away if you feel dizzy or weak.
• Do not overload the generator.
• Plug appliances directly into the generator or use a heavy-duty, outdoor-rated extension cord.
• Make sure extension cords used with generators are rated for the load and have three-pronged plugs.
• Turn off all appliances powered by the generator before shutting down the generator.
• Make sure fuel for the generator is stored safely, away from living areas, in properly labeled containers and away from fuel-burning appliances.
• Before re-fueling, always turn the generator off and let it cool down.
• Keep children away from portable generators at all times.
For more on generator safety, visit the ESFI website or Georgia Power's website.