EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — When the power goes out, many people turn to portable generators for help.

While these devices can be helpful, especially during a lengthy outage, it’s important to know how to use them properly.

Here are five safety tips from federal officials:

  1. Using a generator poses a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Homeowners should install carbon monoxide detectors on every level of their homes.
    • If you feel weak, dizzy, or sick, move outside immediately and dial 911.
  2. Always use generators outdoors and keep them at least 20 feet away from other objects.
  3. Keep the generator dry, since touching a wet generator can cause an electrical shock.
  4. Before refueling, turn the generator off and let it cool to prevent a fire hazard.
  5. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.