Firefighters offer generator safety reminders for when your power goes out during a storm

Storms across the Midwest brought strong winds causing damage in some areas.
Storms across the Midwest brought strong winds causing damage in some areas.(WEAU)
Published: May. 31, 2022 at 6:11 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Recently, the Midwest has seen a stretch of severe weather bringing strong winds that can knock out power. In the event your lights go out, you may turn to a generator for an emergency power source.

With that in mind, firefighters say you still need to practice safety when using one.

Eau Claire Fire Rescue Deputy Chief Allyn Bertrang says severe weather can happen any time of the year.

When using generators as an alternative power source, Bertrang says you shouldn’t keep generators inside the house while they are being used.

With many generators being gasoline-powered, Bertrang says you run the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning if they’re powered up indoors.

He says generators should be used outside and far away from the house where exhaust can’t get in.

“You want to get it as far away from your building as you’re safely and efficiently able to because you want to make sure the exhaust is not going to go inside your building or into somebody else’s building,” Bertrang said. “So it’s really kind of dependent on the property and the circumstances, maybe even the wind direction as to where you place it and how far away, but the key point is to make sure that there’s not any exhaust in the buildings at all.”

Bertrang says since carbon monoxide is an odorless gas, he recommends people check their CO detectors monthly to make sure they’re working. If your detectors are battery-powered, Bertrang says you should change the batteries twice a year.

Copyright 2022 WEAU. All rights reserved.