Keeping the power on safely after a hurricane

If you want power after a storm, you’re going to need a generator. They come in all sizes to run lights, fans and keep your phones charged, but you have to plan ahead to stay safe.

“Generators are very important during hurricane season because they allow people to store food and have electricity in their home,” said Cape Coral Fire Battalion Chief Mathew Marshall.

You have to use a generator safely, though, because carbon monoxide is a real threat.

“The biggest concern is the safety concern of carbon monoxide poisoning. It is an odorless, colorless gas that can actually cause people to die,” Marshall said.

That’s why generator placement is key.

“Keep it outside, away from the home, at least 15 to 20 feet.”

Marshall recommends getting a carbon monoxide detector.

“Don’t think that when the alarm goes off, it doesn’t mean anything; those alarms are made to go off when they detect carbon monoxide,” he said.

Nathan Shafer with Tropical Generators in Fort Myers said the best thing to do is to keep the generator outside and lock it up.

“People are afraid people are going to steal them, so they put them in the garage and crack the garage and they think it will let the carbon monoxide out, but it won’t,” he said.

“Put a chain around it or a lock and hopefully that will deter somebody from taking it.”

When it comes to fueling, Shafer said, “When they run out, they’re still hot, they just want to pour gasoline in it; that’s a no-no. You gotta use a funnel so you don’t pour gasoline so it’s not all over itself.”

You’ll want a professional to install it for you.

“Hire somebody that has an electrical contractor license here in the state of Florida and a gas license,” Shafer recommended.

Click here to visit our Hurricane Central page with all the news and information you need for the upcoming season.

Reporter:Nicole Gabe
Writer:Jackie Winchester
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