“Take It Outside” Campaign Warns of Risks with Generators
(City of Farmington Hills, June 4, 2022)
As storm season approaches, the Farmington Hills Fire Department urges residents to prepare for possible power outages and learn valuable safety tips about generator usage.
When severe weather hits and the power goes out, portable generators can be a lifesaver. They provide temporary emergency power to run refrigerators and freezers, sump pumps, lights, air conditioning, and more. During good weather, generators can help bring the fun for tailgating and outdoor parties that take place away from a ready power supply.
“Unfortunately, improper use of portable generators can have deadly consequences,” said Farmington Hills Fire Marshal Jason Baloga. “The emissions contain carbon monoxide, a deadly gas that’s tasteless, colorless, odorless, and impossible for human senses to detect.”
The Farmington Hills Fire Department joins with the Portable Generator Manufacturers’ Association in promoting the “Take It Outside” campaign. This message emphasizes the importance of NEVER using generators inside homes, garages, basements, crawlspaces, sheds or any other enclosed or partially enclosed spaces. “Using fans or opening doors and windows will not help,” said Baloga. “Carbon monoxide can quickly build up and linger for hours, even after the generator is turned off.”
Portable generators should only be operated OUTSIDE and must be placed far away and downwind from windows, doors, and vents to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide gas accumulating and potentially being drawn toward living areas. Always install battery‐operated carbon monoxide alarms or plug‐in alarms with battery backup according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Smoke alarms cannot detect carbon monoxide gas.
Be aware that symptoms of low‐level carbon monoxide poisoning can be similar to those caused by cold, flu, food poisoning, or other illness. If you or a family member feel sick, dizzy, weak, or are experiencing any other symptoms, get outside to fresh air immediately and call 911 so that the Fire Department can provide medical attention and air monitoring.
For more information, call the Farmington Hills Fire Department at 248-871-2800 or visit www.TakeYourGeneratorOutside.com.