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18500 Murdock Circle
Port Charlotte, FL 33948

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Generator Safety

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. (Oct. 2, 2022) – As we recover from Hurricane Ian, Emergency Management encourages you to practice safe generator use to protect you and your family. The primary hazards to avoid when using a generator are carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning from the toxic engine exhaust, electric shock or electrocution, and fire. Follow the directions supplied with the generator.

Fixed, Installed Generators

  • Hire a licensed electrician to connect the generator to your house wiring using a transfer switch to prevent your generator from backfeeding utility lines and causing possible damage to your generator when utility power is restored

Portable, Gasoline-powered Generators

  • Thoroughly read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid dangerous shortcuts and ensure the safe operation of your generator
  • Set it up outside, away from all open windows, including neighbors’ windows, to prevent deadly exhaust from entering a home or business
  • Use a heavy-duty extension cord rated for outdoor use to keep the generator safely outdoors. If the appliance has a three-prong plug, always use a three-prong extension cord
  • Consider using a battery-operated carbon monoxide alarm to be alerted if carbon monoxide levels become dangerous
  • Connect appliances directly to it. Do not wire your generator directly to your breaker or fuse box, because the power you generate may flow back into power lines and cause severe injuries, or even kill a neighbor or utility crew working to restore power
  • Turn off all connected appliances before starting your generator
  • Turn connected appliances on one at a time, never exceeding the generator’s rated wattage
  • Don't touch a generator if you are wet or are standing in water or on damp ground
  • Never refuel a hot generator or one that is running – hot engine parts or exhaust can ignite gasoline
  • Ensure you have plenty of gas for operation stored safely in gas containers
  • Don’t leave a running generator unattended; turn it off at night and when away from home

Call the Charlotte County Emergency Operations Center at 941-833-4000 or 941-743-1320. Those with internet access can find information on resources at

Follow Charlotte County Emergency Management for important emergency information at,, and


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