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Islip Officials Urge Caution When Using Generators, Power Tools

Town offers safety tips for local residents in wake of Hurricane Sandy.

Islip Town officials are reminding local residents to use caution when using generators, barbecues, household appliances and power tools in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

According to Town officials, a number of house fires have been reported as a result of appliances being left in the same state as when residences lost power. When power is suddenly switched back on there are many appliances that, if they have been left unattended, will cause electrical problems.

Islip officials said residents should keep several safety tips in mind:

  • Please make sure that household appliances are either unplugged or shut off.
  • Do not back-feed your generator through your electric panel.
  • If you have an electric stove make sure it is clear of all objects.
  • If you are leaving your home for an extended period, switch off the main breaker on your electric panel.
  • If your house has water damage you should contact a licensed electrician to assess the damage to your system.
  • Do not try to trim trees or branches that are touching telephone poles or electrical wires.  To report these problems call LIPA at 1-800-490-0075.
  • Once power is restored, monitor your house for at least an hour to ensure that there are no problems.

“We are urging residents to exercise extreme caution while using power tools in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, including the use of generators, barbecues, and chainsaws,” said Croci. “Generators and other gas-powered tools emit large amounts of carbon monoxide (CO) gas, which can be lethal in certain doses. CO gas is odorless and colorless, and is thus extremely dangerous.”

Generators and barbecues should be operated outside in a well-ventilated area.  Residents should also test to make sure that their carbon monoxide detectors have functioning batteries. 

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