| Tri-County Independent
If you lose power, be careful putting food out in the snowWith millions experiencing power outages, powerless residents may be worried about the food in their refrigerator and freezer. Here are some tips.Buzz60With power outages widespread during this bought of severe winter weather, knowing how to operate a generator safely is paramount.According to the Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security and Emergency Response, using a generator incorrectly can lead to electrocution, fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.Signs of carbon monoxide poisoning caused by this odorless, tasteless gas include feeling dizzy, sick or weak. Other symptoms can include nausea, confusion, blurred vision and loss of consciousness.In the event of potential carbon monoxide exposure, “get fresh air right away.” If severe symptoms occur, seek medical treatment immediately.Safe use of generatorA portable or back-up generator should only be used in an emergency and not as a main source of power.Generators should be outdoors, and far away from any structures. They should also be at least 15 feet away from any open windows to prevent exhaust from going inside the structure.“Running a generator inside any enclosed or partially enclosed structure can lead to dangerous and often fatal levels of carbon monoxide,” states the organization.Generators should be kept dry. Prior to switching one on, the power to the main structure should be disconnected.“Otherwise, power from your generator could be sent back into the utility company lines, creating a hazardous situation for utility workers.”The generator should be grounded to help prevent electrocutions.If equipment is being powered, it should be plugged directly into the united using heavy-duty extension cords rated for outdoor use.A generator should never be plugged into a wall outlet to power a home, nor should it be connected to the main electrical panel.Keeping a good supply of fuel is also important, as is knowing how much fuel your generator uses at different output levels.For more information on how to operate a generator safely, visit energy.gov.