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Browning: Fire Marshal urges generator safety

With another tropical system taking aim at Louisiana, the State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFM) is reminding residents to keep safety in mind when utilizing portable generators.

“We have already seen far too many tragic losses of life due to carbon monoxide poisoning from the improper use of generators following Hurricane Laura,” said State Fire Marshal Chief H. “Butch” Browning, “We do not want to see even one more incident now that the southeastern portion of the state is preparing for Tropical Storm Sally.”

Generators produce carbon monoxide, which is an odorless, colorless gas that can kill without warning. That’s why it’s imperative to have a carbon monoxide detector for your home, especially if you plan on using a generator.

The following generator safety tips are simple, but effective in saving lives:

  • Do not place generators inside of any structure including garages, carports or sheds.
  • Instead, place the generator at least 20 feet away from your home, down-wind away from open doors, windows and vents.
  • Before refueling, turn the generator off 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 in rain or wet conditions.
  • Have a fire extinguisher nearby.

To view a video on generator safety, click here: https://youtu.be/7HsupqhBVis

For more information or updates from the SFM throughout this event, visit:

  • lasfm.org
  • Facebook: LAOSFM
  • Twitter: @LAFIREMARSHAL