“Colossal” and “crippling” are two adjectives weather predictors have been using to describe this week’s snowstorm forecast in the Northeastern United States. The storm is expected to dump more than two feet of snow on a 250-mile stretch from New Jersey to Maine. Blizzard warnings have been issued in a number of states and airlines have canceled more than 3,500 flights.
In these types of weather conditions, there is the potential for downed utility lines and power outages. Many people turn to a portable generator for a temporary solution. NFPA’s safety tips sheet on generator safety outlines how to use the device with care.
- Generators should be used in well-ventilated locations outside, away from all doors, windows, and vent openings.
- Never use a generator in an attached garage, even with the door open.
- Make sure to install carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in your home. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for correct placement and mounting height.
- Turn off generators and let them cool before refueling.
Portable generator sales have increased in recent years as homeowners turn to the device when the power goes out. It’s important to know the risks before choosing that alternative.