Facing the Fury: A guide to portable generators
When looking to keep the power on through a blackout, many people turn to portable generators.
But there are some essential things you should know.
First, figure out if your portable generator can generate enough electricity for your appliances and needs inside your house.
Be sure to calculate how many watts and starting watts you need.
Large generators can power multiple appliances, but be sure to use the proper extension cords; it may be best to plug larger devices directly into the generator.
If you want to hook up your generator into your fuse box, you will need to install a transfer switch box to send electricity from the generator into your home.
The transfer switch is needed so the power doesn’t travel outside of your home and harm utility workers who may be working on the line.
Once your generator is up and running, whether it uses gas, diesel, or propane, it emits deadly carbon monoxide.
While we may be worried about storm surge, flooding, and strong winds during severe weather, more people died due to carbon monoxide poisoning from portable generators during Hurricane Hanna in the Valley last year than from weather-related impacts.
About 800 people die every year from carbon monoxide poisoning due to portable generators.
To avoid and dangers, do not use generators in an enclosed area, like a garage or enclosed porch, and keep the machines at least 15 feet away from open windows.