Fire safety: Generators
The King County Fire Marshal often investigates quite a few home fires whenever there is a power outage in the Puget Sound area.
Fires and carbon monoxide poisoning can be prevented with the proper use and placement of emergency generators and by raising public awareness that charcoal or outdoor propane cooking or heating devices should never be used inside the home.
To help keep you safer, the King County Fire Marshal urges the following precautions:
- Be certain that the hot muffler is kept away from, and pointed away from, any combustible material.
- DO NOT refuel the generator while it is running.
- If fuel accidentally spills near the generator, clean it up before restarting the generator.
- The generator MUST be kept outdoors while running.
- If the generator is not permanently wired into your home, make sure a qualified professional does the wiring for you.
- If your generator equipment is connected to your home electrical system, it must be done via a National Electrical Code and local/state approved transfer switch. All necessary permits must be obtained from the electrical inspection authority. Never use any double ended cords or non-approved means to connect a generator to your home. For generator assistance, call Puget Sound Energy at 1-888-225-5773 (1-888 CALL PSE).
- Be careful not to overload the electrical capacity of the generator when connecting to household appliances.
- When using extension cords to connect the generator to household appliances, make sure that exhaust cannot enter the house at the same point extension cords come in.
- Do not bring ANY charcoal or propane fueled equipment into the house. Only devices labeled for INDOOR use are safe.
- Be especially careful with candles. Never leave them burning unless you are in the room with them.
For additional information, please contact the King County Fire Marshal at 206-296-6600.