NEW ORLEANS — Tropical Storm Barry has already thrown out power for all of Grand Isle, and more power outages are expected as the storm makes landfall in southeast Louisiana.

While a generator is an option to provide temporary power during an outage, it is important to know how to use it safely.

Ryan Truxillo with St. Bernard Parish Hospital said the biggest risk that comes with using a generator is the carbon monoxide fumes produced by the machines. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, tasteless gas, and breathing in too much of the toxic fumes can lead to fainting or death.

RELATED: OUTAGES: Grand Isle power knocked as storm nears, thousands without power in Jefferson, Terrebonne parishes

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning range from mild to severe, and can sometimes present themselves as flu-like. Some of the symptoms include: 

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Chest pain
  • Confusion

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 400 Americans die from carbon monoxide poisoning each year and more than 4,000 are hospitalized. To avoid harm or illness, officials recommend heeding the following tips:  

  • Always follow manufacturer instructions when setting up a generator.
  • Never use a generator inside your home or garage.
  • Only use a generator outside in a well-ventilated area.
  • Place your generator at least 20 feet away from your home.
  • Double check that the exhaust is pointed away from any doors of vents.

HELPFUL STORM TIPS

Hurricane preparation tips for insurance: Before, during and after the storm

Tips for keeping your phone charged when a storm knocks out your power

Follow these food safety tips during a hurricane or flood