Press Release, Office of the State Fire Marshal
STATEWIDE (December 14, 2018) – During the winter months, State Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci is reminding the Citizens of Maryland to take care in the use of portable generators. Many people use portable generators during power outages. The most common risks of using the generators are carbon monoxide poisoning, electrical shock, electrocution and fires.
NEVER use portable generators inside a home, garage or shed. USE the GENERATOR OUTSIDE ONLY. Carbon monoxide from portable generators is poisonous and can kill in just minutes. Therefore, make sure you have CO detectors properly installed in your home and that they are working.
While in operation, portable generators should be in a well ventilated area away from all doors, windows and vent openings. Whether your garage is attached or detached to the house, do not use the generator inside. Opening the garage door is not an option. Never refuel the generator while it is in use and before refueling, make sure it has cooled. Make sure fuel is stored in the proper approved container and that the container is stored outside of all living areas.
CO enters the body through breathing. The symptoms of CO poisoning can be confused with flu symptoms, food poisoning and other illnesses. Some symptoms include shortness of breath, nausea, dizziness, light headed or headaches. High levels of CO can be fatal, causing death within minutes.
The Office of the State Fire Marshal is an agency of the Department of State Police dedicated to helping protect citizens from fire and explosion through a comprehensive program of education, inspection, investigation and fire protection engineering. For more information on fire safety call 1-800-525-3124, log onto our website at: Maryland State Fire Marshal and/or our Facebook Page.