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. 

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.  
Staberdearth November 13, 2012 at 12:46 PM
I now know why I deal with an incredibly huge populace of douche bags who quite understandably think differently than I do and die or get maimed as a result of it! Do not lecture me on this, I have done safety training for years and have seen and heard it all. People have compassion for the dead but fail to see the root causes of how it could have been prevented. WAKE UP!
careless fills November 13, 2012 at 01:12 PM
Are you suggesting the the tradgically dead woman thought that she could "get away with it" (running generator in garage) because others might have? How would she even know that? No. Her error was either to ignore the existence or the substance of the abundant warnings, some probably even on stickers om the machine that killed her.
Mac November 13, 2012 at 02:34 PM
Compassionate group of people here in Upper Macungie. A fellow citizen/neighbor made a big mistake that cost her her life and this forum has been more supportive of the warning labels on the generators. Karma people, karma. Sleep tight.
slyfox November 13, 2012 at 05:06 PM
I concur, Frank. Many accidents happen regardless of bazillions of warning labels - smoking for example. People still do. This is a sad event and I cannot imagine relatives of people that by chance happen upon this article & read the insensitive comments made by fools that never made a mistake. One that costs a life. What a sad world we live in. Peace.
Chuck Hennet November 14, 2012 at 02:09 AM
I couldn't agree more. What a sad story. I wish people would restrict their comments to what they would actually express when addressing the family of the victim. The anonymity provided by sites like The Patch lends itself to hatred and disrespect and ignorance.


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