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Six Tips to Safely Power Through a Power Outage

11/13/2015 03:30AM ● Published by Family Features

With winter weather comes the increased chance of power outages. Convenient and easy-to-use portable generators provide security and comfort when the power goes out, but improper generator use brings its own set of risks. The most serious risk is carbon monoxide poisoning, which is especially dangerous because you cannot smell, see or taste carbon monoxide gas.

As cold weather approaches, the Portable Generator Manufacturers Association (PGMA) is encouraging consumers to learn how to safely operate portable generators at

“Families with properly installed generators can enjoy peace of mind, knowing that they’re able to wait out winter storms safely and comfortably,” said Susan Orenga, Executive Director of the PGMA. “However, correctly operating a generator is vitally important.”

Follow this advice from PGMA to learn how to use your portable generator appropriately and avoid carbon monoxide poisoning:

  • Never run a portable generator indoors or in partially enclosed spaces.
  • Avoid placing the generator near an open window, door or vent as fumes can accumulate and travel indoors.
  • Always place a portable generator downwind and point the engine exhaust away from occupied spaces.
  • Install battery-operated carbon monoxide alarms in your home according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  • If you experience headache, nausea, dizziness, shortness of breath, weakness and fainting, get to fresh air immediately and seek emergency medical attention.
  • Always refer to the generator owner’s manual for further information about safe operation and potential hazards.

A well-insulated home can sustain warmth for hours after losing its heat source, but occupants who are sensitive to temperature changes, such as elderly individuals and very young children, may be at risk more quickly. Portable generators are an alternative energy source that can make a significant difference in your ability to weather harsh winter conditions when you always “Take It Outside.”

Learn more about the benefits of safely operating a portable generator for your home this winter at

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (family reading)

Sponsored by Portable Generator Manufacturers Association

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