Portable Generator safety reminder amid recent area storm warnings

STATEWIDE — In light of the recent severe weather, State Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci is reminding Marylanders about the life-saving precautions to take when operating portable generators.

Carbon monoxide poisoning, electrocution, and fires can occur during improper portable generator use in response to a power outage. It is important to remember to NEVER use portable generators inside a home, garage or shed. Generators should be used OUTSIDE ONLY.

"Carbon monoxide from portable generators is poisonous and can kill in just minutes," said State Fire Marshal Geraci. "I implore everyone to make sure they have working CO detectors properly installed in their homes."

While in operation, portable generators should be in a well ventilated area away from all doors, windows and vent openings. Regardless of whether your garage is attached or detached to the house, do not use the generator inside of it. Even opening the garage door does not make this a safe option. Remember to allow the generator time to cool down before refueling, and never refuel while in use. Fuel must be stored in a proper, approved container that is outside of all living areas.

*Information contributed by the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the National Fire Protection Association.

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