With thunderstorm season well underway, the use of portable generators in Maine may be on the rise. Before you purchase your own in preparation for the next big storm, it may be wise to double check that your home insurance covers damage related to generator use – improperly maintained or operated generators could cause fire or electrical damage. Be sure of the safe use of your generator.

In addition to the risk of property damage, you should also know about the high risk of carbon monoxide poisoning that is linked to generator use. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has found that generators have caused almost 600 fatal incidents of carbon monoxide poisoning in the last decade. What steps can you take to reduce your risk?

Generators should always be operated outdoors.

Position your generator away from your home’s windows and doors.

The manufacturer’s guidelines should be followed to the T.

Install and regularly test carbon monoxide detectors in your home.

Generators are quite invaluable during major power outages. It is important, however, to take the necessary precautions to ensure your family’s safety during use. You may also want to discuss the possibility of coverage for your portable generator with your home insurance provider or your agent, so that you may be able to purchase a replacement should it be damaged during a disaster.