Practice safe generator usage during hurricane recovery
BATON ROUGE - More than half of the deaths associated with Hurricane Laura were caused by improper generator usage. Eight people died from carbon monoxide poisoning.
It's why Governor John Bel Edwards and State Fire Marshal Butch Browning are urging generator safety ahead of Hurricane Delta.
Generators produce carbon monoxide, an odorless, colorless gas that can put you into a deep sleep and kill you. Since Hurricane Laura, the State Fire Marshal has printed and placed 2,500 warning posters in front yards in western Louisiana. Residents who lose power and plan to use a generator are urged to keep their generator far away from their house, in the open air.
"It should never be placed inside of a building or even the utility room or an overhang that's part of your home," Browning said.
Browning also says his office has installed 2,400 carbon monoxide detectors inside homes following Hurricane Laura. If you plan to use a generator, Browning suggests you also have a fire extinguisher and a carbon monoxide detector nearby.
"Install a carbon monoxide detector in your home because that is a basic line of defense just like a smoke detector to know if in fact, you have these dangerous fumes inside your home," Browning said.
The State Fire Marshal's Office says the following generator safety tips are simple, but effective in saving lives:
- Do not place generators inside of any structure including garages, carports and sheds
- Instead, place the generator at least 20 feet away from your home, down-wind away from open doors, windows and vents
- Before refueling, turn the generator off and allow it to cool for 15-20 minutes
- Never try to power the house wiring by plugging the generator into a wall outlet
- Instead, use a heavy-duty, outdoor extension cord to plug appliances into generators
- Do not use in rain or wet conditions
- Have a fire extinguisher nearby
- Have a carbon monoxide monitor for your home