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Homeowners are reminded to take precautions when operating generators

Jan 30, 2024

While Louisianians are entering the peak of hurricane season, A local store owner is encouraging homeowners to take precautions, before installing generators.

Gerrod Brasseaux, owner of Brasseaux's Hardware in Lafayette, said he knows what it's like not to have a generator and now he can't live without one.

"I did grow up in Abbeville, so we understand that hurricanes are a part of life," Brasseaux said. "I remember spending many hurricanes without any AC, sweating in the house."

Brasseaux said he encourages homeowners to hire an electrician to properly install generators and to consider the whole-home generators, as opposed to portable generators.

"Don't put it next to AC units or anything like that," Brasseaux said. "Don't put it next to open windows and make sure it is a distance from your house, so you're not pulling fumes back into your house."

The generator tips below were developed by the American Red Cross with technical advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Fire Protection Association (publisher of the National Electric Code®), and the U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission:

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Using a Generator at Home

The primary hazards to avoid when using a generator are carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning from the toxic engine exhaust, electric shock or electrocution, and fire. Follow the directions supplied with the generator.

Local laws may restrict the amount of fuel you may store, or the storage location. Ask your local fire department.Store the fuel outside of living areas in a locked shed or other protected area. To guard against accidental fire, do not store it near a fuel-burning appliance, such as a natural gas water heater in a garage.

Check that the entire cord is free of cuts or tears and that the plug has all three prongs, especially a grounding pin.

How to Prevent Carbon Monoxide (CO) Poisoning When Using a Generator

Test the batteries frequently and replace when needed.

Call for help from the fresh air location and remain there until emergency personnel arrive to assist you.