(Family Features) When weather or other unforeseen circumstances cause a power outage, many households rely on portable generators to serve as temporary power sources. Though there are benefits to using a portable generator, homeowners run the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning if it is not handled properly, according to the Portable Generator Manufacturers’ Association (PGMA).
The PGMA recommends homeowners become familiar with portable generator safety before operating. Keep the operator’s manual in a safe place so you can refer to it easily. Remember:
1. Never run a portable generator indoors or in partially-enclosed spaces, even if you plan to use fans or open doors or windows for ventilation.
2. Always take your portable generator outside, placing it downwind with the engine exhaust pointed away from occupied spaces.
3. Avoid placing a portable generator near windows, doors or vents, as carbon monoxide gas can accumulate and potentially be drawn indoors.
4. Install battery-operated carbon monoxide alarms according to manufacturer's instructions. Replace batteries and test the alarm regularly to ensure it is in good working condition.
5. Know how to recognize the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning: headache, nausea, dizziness, shortness of breath, weakness and fainting.
6. If you feel sick, dizzy or weak while using your portable generator, get to fresh air immediately and call 911 for emergency medical attention.
Published with permission from RISMedia.