Read labels and follow instructions in the owner's manual.
Use portable generators outside only, away from the house. Also keep the generator away from vents, windows and doors -- including those of neighbors.
Install CO (carbon monoxide) alarms with battery backup in the home, near sleeping areas.
Turn off all connected appliances before starting your generator.
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Turn connected appliances on one at a time, never exceeding the generator's rated wattage.
Start the largest electric appliance first, then plug in other items, one at a time.
Ground the generator to avoid accidental electrical shock.
Use appropriate extension cords. Use a larger gauge three-wire, three-prong cord when using an appliance or tool a distance away.
Don't refuel a generator that is running or hot.
Don't touch a generator if you are wet or are standing in water or on damp ground.
Sources: Florida Power and Light, Lowes.com and Consumer Product Safety Commission