YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — In light of recent severe storms that caused widespread power outages not only in the Valley but across multiple states, the Portable Generator Manufacturers’ Association (PGMA) advises the public to exercise caution when using generators.

Severe weather has moved through leaving over 600,000 residents in the dark across several states, according to PGMA, along with 63,000 consumers impacted in the Valley alone.

Many will choose to use portable generators, and although they are life-saving tools in times of emergency — if used improperly — they can also be deadly. Year after year, people suffer carbon monoxide poisoning due to improper usage of portable generators, PGMA reports. 

PGMA advises taking the following steps when using a portable generator:

  • Read the owner’s manual for tips on safe operation
  • Predetermine where the portable generator will be positioned so it is far away from open doors, windows, vents, etc.
  • Have a supply of gasoline stored in an EPA/CARB-compliant container and store it in a well-ventilated space
  • Ensure your home has a functioning carbon monoxide detector

Portable generators should never be used indoors.