SUMMIT, NJ - Power outages can happen at a moment's notice, with stormy conditions -- and high winds -- enhancing the likelihood of service interruptions. In the event of an outage, many citizens turn to portable or stationary generators to bridge the gap until power is restored.

As a nor'easter bears down on the east coast, the City of Summit Fire Department is reminding residents how to use generators safety during such outages, thereby preventing improper generator use which can potentially result in dangerous levels of carbon monoxide in homes.

Safety tips include:

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  • Never use a generator inside a home, garage, crawl space, or other enclosed areas. Fatal carbon monoxide fumes can build up that neither a fan nor open doors and windows can properly ventilate.

  • Professionally-installed stationary home generators produce carbon monoxide and can cause carbon monoxide to enter the home. Ensure openings near a generator are sealed shut.

  • Always use a generator outdoors in a location away from open windows, vents, or doors.

  • Always have a working carbon monoxide detector in your home. Check to ensure it is in proper working order, especially when running a generator.

  • Use extension cords that are grounded and rated for generator use. Coiled cords can get extremely hot; always uncoil cords and lay flat in open locations.

  • Never plug a generator directly into a home outlet. If connecting a generator into a home electrical system, have a qualified electrician install a power transfer switch.  

  • Take precautions to protect your generator from exposure to rain and snow, and never operate under wet conditions.

For more information on generator safety, visit cityofsummit.org/fire.