Generators Bring Death, Danger During Power Outage
One death, a house fire and other problems have come as the Lehigh Valley's powerless try to use generators in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
Some left powerless by Hurricane Sandy have turned to generators for heat and light - but one death and two fires are grim reminders that generators must be used with extreme caution.
These four cases happened in the Lehigh Valley in just two days:
- A Lower Macungie Township woman died Tuesday after being overcome by exhaust fumes from a portable gas generator. Tammy Kerosetz, 48, of 3663 Schoeneck Road, had a generator running in her garage, according to the Lehigh County coroner.
- An Upper Macungie garage was damaged Tuesday after combustible materials next to a generator's exhaust caught fire. Firefighters were able to keep the fire from spreading to the home, but a family of four is temporarily displaced. Damage is expected to be more than $15,000.
- A worker was burned in an electrical fire related to generator use at a Bethlehem Township warehouse Wednesday, according to a Lehigh Valley Live report.
Follow these generator safety tips:
- Generators should be used in well-ventilated locations outside -- away from all doors, windows and vent openings.
- NEVER use a generator in an attached garage, even with the door open.
- Place generators so that exhaust fumes can't enter through windows, doors or other openings in the structure.
- Carbon monoxide detectors should be installed in the home.
- Turn off generators and let them cool down before refueling. Never refuel a generator while it is running.
- A homeowner must remember to store fuel for the generator in the appropriate container and outside of the living area.
- If you must connect the generator to the house wiring, have a qualified electrician install a properly rated transfer switch to prevent backfeeding the system.