After a hurricane, tornado, or other storm interrupts your electricity, you may be tempted to run a generator in a living space. Don’t ever do that. That includes a basement or garage, two spaces that can capture deadly levels of carbon monoxide.
Carbon monoxide can kill you in as little as 5 minutes if the levels are high enough. Buy a generator with built-in CO safety technology. Many new generators have a device that detects dangerous levels of carbon monoxide and turns off the machine when levels climb too high.
Install a transfer switch before the next storm. This critical connection will cost from $500 to $900 with labor for a 5,000-rated-watt or larger generator. A transfer switch connects the generator to your circuit panel and lets you power hardwired appliances and avoid the safety risk of using extension cords for those with plugs.