Garrett County residents are bracing for the second snow storm of the season. As storm preparations are made, the Department of Emergency Services urges residents to follow the safety tips below when using generators in the event of a power outage. These tips can help prevent injury or death but In an emergency situation always dial 911.
- Engines emit carbon monoxide. Never use a generator inside your home, garage, crawl space, or other enclosed areas. Fatal fumes can build up, that neither a fan nor open doors and windows can provide enough fresh air.
- Only use your generator outdoors, away from open windows, vents, or doors.
- Use a battery-powered carbon monoxide detector in the area you’re running a generator.
- Gasoline and its vapors are extremely flammable. Allow the generator engine to cool at least 2 minutes before refueling and always use fresh gasoline. If you do not plan to use your generator in 30 days, don’t forget to stabilize the gas with fuel stabilizer.
- Maintain your generator according to the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule for peak performance and safety.
- Never operate the generator near combustible materials.
- If you have to use extension cords, be sure they are of the grounded type and are rated for the application. Coiled cords can get extremely hot; always uncoil cords and lay them in flat open locations.
- Never plug your generator directly into your home outlet. If you are connecting a generator into your home electrical system, have a qualified electrician install a Power Transfer Switch.
The Garrett County Health Department has a page dedicated to winter storm preparedness available at http://www.garretthealth.org/new/2012/1212/Winter%20Weather.html