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In many areas the extreme cold has already brought snow and accompanying that cold weather will likely be big storms and power outages, which will in turn require the use of a portable generator.

Most importantly, is to have an understanding on how to safely and properly use a portable generator to avoid the risk of Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning. Carbon monoxide poisonings peak during the months of December and January and as such, so should awareness of the dangers involved.

CO poisoning is the leading cause of accidental poisoning death in the U.S., killing 400 people a year. Yet, less than one-third of American homes have a CO detector installed although they save lives.

CO Important Safety Measures

Follow all manufacturers’ instructions that came with the generator.

Portable generators should never be used inside the home as items such as drapes and blankets are highly flammable and should not be near the unit.

The batteries within the detectors should be changed every spring and every fall.

A gas range or oven should not be used to heat your home.

Never run a vehicle inside an attached garage.

Turn the generator off and let it cool before fueling and never store it in your home. It should be kept dry and only operated in an open area.

If you or anyone else feels dizzy, get fresh air immediately.

Read more safety tips by visiting the U.S. Fire Administration Web site.

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