Of the 21 people in Louisiana and Texas who were killed by Hurricane Laura, 10 died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning.
In one case, four members of the same family died after a portable generator in their garage produced fumes that seeped into the home. The garage door had been left open overnight, but winds from the hurricane apparently blew the door shut.
Here in the Gulf South, where hurricanes and tropical storms are part of life, generator safety should always be foremost in mind.
Many people don’t realize how quickly carbon monoxide can kill. When fumes enter your home, death can occur within minutes. Never place a generator in a home or a garage. Operate it outdoors in a place that has plenty of ventilation.
And to help protect the linemen who might be trying to restore electricity to your area, never plug a portable generator into a wall outlet. Always connect appliances directly to the generator itself.
Hurricanes and tropical storms produce plenty of rainfall. Don’t operate your generator where it’s wet or even moist. Avoid puddles under the generator. Make certain that your hands are dry before touching the generator.
When it comes time to re-fuel, let the generator cool off first.
Portable generators are popular around here because they can bring some comfort and convenience to us when the power is out. But that comfort and convenience should never override safety concerns. Take no chances with portable generators.