Safety Tips with Generators to Prevent Fire, Deaths

Firefighters Urge Caution At Home For Those Without Power. Check CO detectors, be careful using candles.


On Sunday, hundreds of people were lined up for generators at Lowes as of 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, 76,000 were without power in Rockland County.

At Wednesday morning's 11 a.m. meeting in front of Nyack Village hall, Vincent Fiorentino, Nyack Fire Inspector, stressed the importance of correctly using generators.

“If you have a stationary generator that you’ve had already, that’s fine and dandy. But the temporary ones have to be well away from your home,” said Fiorentino. “There’s been some incidents already with carbon monoxide coming into the homes. We don’t want anyone getting killed.”

Last year with Hurricane Irene, a Chestnut Ridge man died in his home and police say he most likely died in his sleep from carbon monoxide. The poisonous carbon monoxide came from a generator that was heating his home during the power outage.

“If you have a generator and you don’t know how to work it, consult an electrician,” said Fiorentino. "It can’t be in the house. You could end up causing a fire as well. Do not leave any candles unattended."

He added that to not hook up your entire house to a generator, just major appliances, like the refrigerator. 

If your home is one of the thousands in Rockland still without power, firefighters say some basic safety steps can help prevent more problems at home.

The Firemen’s Association of the State of New York says:

  • Do not use stove burners or your oven to heat your home — this may cause a serious carbon monoxide risk.
  • Make sure your CO detectors are working with functioning batteries.
  • Be mindful of candles and keep all candles at least one foot away from any combustible materials.
  • Do not place candles anywhere near window curtains, furniture, or anything else that could easily ignite and make sure they cannot be knocked down or tipped/blown over. If possible, keep the candle inside a weighted holder or one with a wide base.
  • Never leave a lighted candle unattended – extinguish a candle before leaving the room.

The Firemen’s Association also reminds parents to be mindful of the present dangers that exist while their children are running door to door trick-or-treating this Halloween. Many residents have been urged to remain at home and stay off the streets but for those who venture out during this Halloween, urges the following precautions:

  • Be aware of any fallen or snapped tree branches.
  • Obey caution lines and do not venture into areas cordoned off by local officials.
  • Stay at least 50 feet away from downed power lines and assume that any cables or wires are energized.

Police in areas with many down trees and power lines today asked residents to limit their Halloween activities to daylight hours.

Gregg November 06, 2012 at 04:55 PM
This is a good time to point something out. I bought my Generiac Whole house generator many years ago at Home Depot in West Nyack. They took care of everything OR so I thought. I have since found out I needed permits. which they never told me. The electrician was not even licenced in Rockland. When I went to Town Hall Building Dept. & was told I needed things corrected So You think Home Depot was around to help NO NO. they wanted nothing to do with me. WOULD YOU LIKE TO HELP ME WITH THIS HOME DEPOT & CORRECT PERMITS?
Gregg November 06, 2012 at 04:56 PM
Make sure you check on them


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