NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ- A generator can be a lifesaver when the power goes out. That lifesaver can become a liability when improperly operated. New Providence Fire Chief Joe Parlapiano encourages residents to take extra precautions when it comes to Carbon Monoxide, an odorless, colorless, poisonous gas that is produced by combustion engines such as portable generators.  

He stresses the importance of never operating a generator inside the house, garage, basement or any enclosed or partially enclosed space, and only running generators outside away from windows, doors, and vents.

Parlapiano cautions residents to be aware of the climate you are operating the generator in. “In a storm like we just had, wind was blowing in every direction and it’s critical for our residents’ safety to be cognizant of the direction the exhaust is blowing so as not to have it shift towards the home,” he said.

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As Carbon Monoxide can kill in minutes; having CO detectors in the home is essential.

If a homeowner or a member of their family feels light-headed or dizzy while a generator is being operated, Parlapiano stresses the importance of getting everyone out of the house first and then calling for help. Taking these steps when operating your generator keeps your lights on and your life intact.