Hurricane Laura was a force to be reckoned with as the storm produced life-threatening storm surge and destructive wind speeds. It left thousands without power who turned to generators for a source of light.
In Louisiana, 8 of the 14 reported deaths from Hurricane Laura were due to carbon monoxide poisoning, most likely from putting generators indoors.
**IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP** Unfortunately, there have already been 9 reported fatalities related to Carbon Monoxide poisoning, most likely related to people using generators indoors. If you choose to use a generator, make sure to keep it outside! pic.twitter.com/5tJYDYWdcA— NWS Lake Charles (@NWSLakeCharles) August 28, 2020
Jacob Hagan with Hagan Ace Hardware in Clay County said that the most important safety tip when using a generator is to keep it outside your home and away from air vents and windows.
“Most of them are hardy enough that is doesn’t matter that they get rained on,” said Hagan.
Some generators now come with carbon monoxide sensors and will automatically turn off if the level gets too high.
Hagan suggests that you go ahead and grab a carbon monoxide sensor/alarm if your generator is older and does not have that feature.
It also important that you do not plug the generator directly into a wall outlet in your home.
This morning @LADeptHealth reported two additional deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning due to a generator inside the home. Generators must only be used outdoors and away from windows, doors and other openings. Not even under carports or garages. #lagov #Laura #HurricaneLaura pic.twitter.com/cNxCFCj0eF— John Bel Edwards (@LouisianaGov) August 29, 2020
You’ll also want to grab some extension cords depending on what items you want in your home to run off the generator.
Hagan also suggests using a stabilizer in your gas to help your generator run smoothly and last longer.
“It’s also important that you do not plug the generator directly into a wall outlet in your home,” Hagan said.
The 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season is going strong, so now is the time to take out those generators and test them before a storm arrives.