Warning: People being sickened by fumes from portable generators

Press Release from Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services

The Gwinnett County Fire Department is offering safety tips for people using portable generators following Monday’s storm.

(Lawrenceville, Ga., September 14, 2017) – The Gwinnett County Department of Fire and Emergency Services is reminding residents about the proper use of generators.  With the power still out in isolated areas, some residents are turning to portable generators to light the home and keep appliances working.  Firefighters have already responded to incidents of people sickened by carbon monoxide fumes from the use of generators.  Firefighters are encouraging residents to read and follow the instructions that come with the generator.  When used improperly, generators pose a hazard by allowing dangerous fumes to enter the home.

Be sure to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning and minimize the risk of fire by incorporating the below safety practices.

  • Never use a generator indoors or in an enclosed garage or carport.  Generators should be placed outside, a safe-distance away from windows, vents and air intakes.  Be sure to maintain plenty of space around the generator.
  • Install a working Carbon Monoxide Alarm and Smoke Alarm inside the home.  Be prepared to evacuate the home if either begins sounding.
  • Only use the recommended fuel for the generator.  Never attempt to refuel the generator while it’s running.  Store fuel for the generator in an approved (safe) container.  The fuel should be stored away from the generator.
  • When in use, the exterior portion of the generator will be hot and may cause a serious burn injury or ignite nearby combustibles.  Never touch a hot generator or place items too close.
  • Avoid plugging the generator into a wall outlet or Back-Feeding Power! Doing so will place yourself and others (like utility workers) in extreme danger by the transformer increasing low voltage from the generator to high voltage.
  • Go outside the home if you experience the symptoms of CO poisoning: headache, dizziness, nausea and fatigue. Call 9-1-1 and seek medical attention immediately.
  • Don’t go back inside the home until the issue is corrected and the structure is ventilated.

For additional information on home fire and life safety, please contact the Gwinnett Fire Community Risk Reduction Division/Education Section at 678.518.4845 or e-mail fireprograms@gwinnettcounty.com.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply