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Running A Generator Safely After A Hurricane

The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute says people buying generators this hurricane season should familiarize themselves with operating them safely.

Hurricane season is here and Florida lawmakers want to help give your wallet a break when preparing this year. Through next Thursday, storm supplies like flashlights and generators will be tax-free to help families get prepared for the 2019 storm season.

The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute has tips to help people prepare for any possible storms and the damage that comes along with it.

“The key to dealing with equipment is to deal with it before the storm, make sure it is operating and that you have what you need,” said CEO/President Kris Kiser.

Generators are among the most important – and most expensive - items when it comes to storm preparedness. They can power critical electronics in a home during emergencies like cellphones, radios, and lighting.  

“Make sure it’s appropriate for your needs, can you physically move the unit? Do you know where to put the unit? You can’t run them in the doorway, the garage or near an open window or door,” said Kiser. “Do I have the right cords, do they match the unit? Do you have the right fuel? These are all things you need in advance.”

When running a generator, OPEI advises to make sure to use the right fuel specified in the owner’s manual. Most outdoor power equipment is built to use fuel with less than 10% ethanol content.

“Fuel that sits, today’s fuel that has ethanol in it, will stale as it absorbs water, once it absorbs enough water, it phase separates and goes bad. It doesn’t work very well in engines,” stated Kiser.

When buying a generator, OPEI urges consumers to install a carbon monoxide detector to make sure there isn’t an excess of the dangerous gas inside the house.

“Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas from the burning of fuel, so whether it’s a generator or a furnace, it’s critically important to have a working detector,” said Kiser. “It could save your life.”

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