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.