Tracking the Tropics
If you plan on using a generator if the power goes out after the storm, keep in mind it can be dangerous. Seven's Blake Burman has more on this silent danger.
WSVN -- It happens far too often after a storm. The power goes out and people pull out their portable generators.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Lieutenant Arnold Piedrahita: "Approximately 500 people die each year due to portable generators."
A family of five in Southwest Miami-Dade was rushed to the hospital after suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning. Officers say they were using their portable generator inside their home.
Lt. Arnold Piedrahita: "It's a very dangerous piece of equipment if not used properly."
Now is the time to learn the do's and don'ts of generator safety.
Lt. Arnold Piedrahita: "Do not use them indoors, I can't stress that enough, these things have to be used outside in a well-ventilated area."
Do place your portable generator outside your home away from any windows, doors or vents.
Lt. Arnold Piedrahita: "Because the carbon monoxide will seep into those openings and go into your home."
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas. Breathing it in can cause nausea, headaches.
Lt. Arnold Piedrahita: "It's very important that you call 911 if you have any of these symptoms."
Inhaling the gas, can be deadly. Your home should have a carbon monoxide detector.
Lt. Arnold Piedrahita: "Especially after hurricanes, we get an increase in carbon monoxide poisoning calls."
You also need to be careful when using your generator.
Lt. Arnold Piedrahita: "Never refill a generator with gas while it's still running, and never refill a generator with gas that's hot, that's just been turned off."
And make sure you have a fire extinguisher on hand.
Lt. Arnold Piedrahita: "When selecting a fire extinguisher, be sure that it's a class A, B and C fire extinguisher meaning that it's rated for fuel fires."
And when powering your appliances don't overload your generator.
Lt. Arnold Piedrahita: "You don't want to demand more power than this can put out."
If you're worried about someone stealing your generator, chain it to something outside that is strong, and can't be moved. Don't ever keep it inside the home.
Lt. Arnold Piedrahita: "Is your family's life worth the cost of a generator? I don't think so."
Critical information that could save you and your family from this Silent Danger. Blake Burman 7 News.