DETROIT - The Detroit Fire Department offers these safety precautions for using generators to power a home:
- Never operate a generator indoors or in an unventilated area. The exhaust contains deadly carbon monoxide fumes.
- Do not store gasoline for a generator indoors. Gasoline should be stored in an approved, non-glass safety container. Extinguish all flames or cigarettes when handling gasoline or the generator. Always have a fully charged, approved fire extinguisher located near the generator.
- Make sure you have enough fuel to run a generator for an extended period of time; during a power outage, gas stations may be closed.
- Never refuel a generator while it is running. Shut it off and let it cool for 10 minutes before refueling to minimize the danger of fire.
- Parts of the generator are very hot during operation. Avoid contact especially with the muffler area. Keep children away at all times.
- Protect the generator from rain and other moisture sources to prevent electrocution.
- When not in use, store the generator in a dry location such as a garage or shed.
Homeowners are also encouraged to put together an emergency use kit for their home to prepare for power outages.
The kit should include:
- Battery powered radio
- Extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Nonperishable food
- Battery operated lantern
- Drinking water (one gallon per person per day)
- Some emergency cash
For more information about the safe use of generators, call the Detroit Fire Department Fire Marshal Division at (313) 596-2968.
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