Portable generators can be lifesaving machines, but they can also be lethal. Post-storm fatalities are often attributed to carbon monoxide poisoning from the improper use of generators. People who suffer from power outages seek out portable generators to supplement their power usage. However, generators can quickly produce lethal amounts of carbon monoxide (an odorless and colorless gas.)

Never use a generator indoors; be aware that carbon monoxide poisoning can mimic flu-like symptoms before knocking a person unconscious (and eventually killing them) in minutes. 

Alexander Hoehn-Saric, chair of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said, “As people are focused upon rebuilding their lives, they’re not necessarily focused on the dangers of something like a generator helping them out by turning power back on.”

After Hurricane Irma tore through Florida in 2017, over a dozen post-storm deaths were blamed on generators. A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that one of the most common causes of death after Hurricane Irma was power outages. After 6.7 million people were without power, 27 power outage-related deaths were recorded, including 16 from carbon monoxide poisoning. 

The CPSC recently re-published its generator safety guidelines, which outline how one portable generator can produce the same amount of carbon monoxide as hundreds of cars. 

Every year throughout the United States, about 85 people die from carbon monoxide poisoning kicked out from a portable generator. Even if windows are open, adequate airflow cannot prevent lethal levels of carbon monoxide from building up inside. All generators should be situated at least 20 feet from the home, windows, or garage, and the exhaust must be pointed away from the home. 

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include slight headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, weakness, and shortness of breath. Generators should only be operated with battery-operated carbon monoxide alarms, which will automatically detect carbon monoxide levels and alert when necessary. 

One of the best ways to ensure you own a safe generator is to invest in a permanent, whole-house version that can automatically make the switch to supply power when needed. Portable generators are often overlooked in terms of maintenance and can be dangerous if not used properly. Whole-home generators are a safer option and are installed by professionals. 

At State Electric Company, our trained technicians are qualified to install whole-home generators properly. Contact us today to learn more. 

State Electric Company is a leader in the electrification of the nation. Our highly educated and experienced team of professionals uses industry-leading software technology and has partnered with manufacturers to deliver affordable solutions for all your electrical needs. State Electric Co. is also an exclusive distributor of Enel X JuiceBox EV chargers for residential and commercial use. We are fully licensed, insured, and bonded to install charging stations for homes, offices, hotels, and more. With our extensive knowledge of renewable energy, our team provides customers – large or small – with efficient electrical solutions. Contact us today to learn how we can safely and affordably meet your energy needs. 

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/