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Safety experts warn about dangers of portable electric generators

A portable electric generator.
A portable electric generator.

KALAMAZOO (WKZO) -- In the wake of this week's storms that knocked out electricity to thousands around west Michigan, many are relying on generators for power, but one fire safety group has a few warnings about the devices. Mike McLeieer, with the group ESCAPE, says that generators are a great thing to have, but you've got to observe some safety rules with them.

"Number one, we never want to have people store a generator in the home, in the garage, or in an enclosed buidng," McLeieer told WKZO. "Also, carbon monoxide is a silent killer. It is something we don't know when an individual is being poisoned. So, we want to have a carbon monoxide detector in the home, just like a smoke alarm."

McLeieer notes that a 12 year old boy in Indiana was killed by carbon monoxide coming from a generator just this week. His family had it in the basement, and thought that keeping the windows open would be enough ventilation. It wasn't.