Generators & Space Heaters

Generator Safety

  • Always read and follow instructions.
  • Generators produce carbon monoxide–a deadly gas that is invisible and odorless . To avoid carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, follow these precautions when operating a generator:
    • Use outdoors only.
    • Operate in a well-ventilated area.
    • Keep the unit away from home air intakes.
    • Protect the generate from direct exposure to rain.
  • Never use a generator in attached garages.
  • Install CO alarms with battery backup in your home’s sleeping areas.
  • Get to fresh air immediately if you start to feel sick, weak or dizzy.
  • Never use a portable generator in any enclosed or partially enclosed space. Windows and doors do not provide enough ventilation.
  • Do not locate a portable generator outside near windows or doors.
  • Connect appliances one at a time to the generator.  Never a hook generator directly to your household wiring yourself.  Only a qualified electrician can do this.
  • Avoid using extension cords with generators.  If you must use them, make sure they have adequate capacity and check them often to make sure they have not become hot.

Space Heater Safety

  • Always read and follow all instructions.
  • Kerosene heaters are not permitted in many areas. If you operate one, use only the recommended fuel. Always refuel outdoors safely away from your home.
  • Allow your heater to cool before refueling. Kerosene has a low flash point and might cause a fire if it comes into contact with a hot surface.
  • Space heaters need room. Keep flammable materials at least 3 feet away from the heater. Never set the heater on a chair or table. It should sit only on an uncarpeted floor.
  • When buying a space heater, look for a control feature that automatically shuts off the heater if the heater falls over.
  • Keep an eye on your heater at all times while it is running. Shut it off before you go to bed or when you leave the house. Never run a portable heater longer than the manufacturer recommends.
  • Space heaters are classified as vented and unvented or “vent-free.” Unvented combustion units are not recommended for use inside your home because they introduce unwanted combustion products into the living space—including nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, and water vapor—and deplete air in the space.

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Virginia Disaster Relief Fund