BATON ROUGE, La. – As Louisiana recovers from Hurricane Laura and prepares for Hurricane Delta, FEMA urges everyone who experiences a power outage to be safe when using portable generators.
Do not use a generator inside your home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. Keep them outside of your living spaces and away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come inside. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that could kill you, your family and your pets.
Be sure to check on your family and neighbors who may be using generators to remind them about the importance of keeping generators outside of their home and other enclosed spaces.
If you are using a generator for any reason, including after a hurricane, keep this information in mind to keep you and your household safe:
- Place generators at least 20 feet away from your home, downwind away from open doors, windows and vents.
- Turn the generator off before refueling, and allow it to cool for 15-20 minutes.
- Never try to power the house wiring by plugging the generator into a wall outlet -- instead, use a heavy-duty, outdoor extension cord to plug appliances into generators.
- Do not use generators in rain or wet conditions.
- Place a fire extinguisher nearby.
- Get a carbon monoxide monitor for your home.
Here are some resources for additional information about generators and carbon monoxide:
- Watch this generator safety video from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and FEMA which includes American Sign Language: youtube.com/watch?v=n7GIOzABRHA
- Read this news from the Office of Louisiana State Fire Marshal: http://sfm.dps.louisiana.gov/doc/press/pr_2020-68.pdf.
- View information Occupational Safety and Health Administration information about how to use portable generators safely at osha.gov/OshDoc/data_Hurricane_Facts/portable_generator_safety.pdf.
- Learn about carbon monoxide from the CDC by visiting cdc.gov/co/ or calling 800-232-4636