Safety Tips if Hurricane Knocks Out ElectricityCPSC Warns of Dangers from Generators and Candles

September 15, 2003
Release Number: 03-184

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission warns of dangers from generators, candles, and other products that might be used if Hurricane Isabel knocks out electricity.

-Never use a generator indoors or in a garage.. Exhaust fumes contain carbon monoxide which can be deadly if inhaled. Use a portable generator outdoors in a dry, ventilated area away from attached garages or air intakes to the house. Do not store gasoline in the basement or in an attached garage where gasoline fumes could be ignited. CPSC has more details about safe use of generators at: www.cpsc.gov/CPSCPUB/PUBS/portgen.html

-Plug individual appliances into the generator using heavy-duty outdoor-rated cords with a wire gauge adequate for the appliance load.

-Do not use electrical appliances that have been wet. Do not turn on damaged electrical appliances because of the hazards of electric shock or fire.

-Never use charcoal indoors because burning charcoal gives off carbon monoxide.

-Make sure the batteries in your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide alarm are fresh. Test these alarms to make sure they are working.

-Exercise caution in the use of candles. Use flashlights instead. If you use candles, do not put them on or near anything that will burn. Never leave burning candles unattended. Douse candles when you leave the room.