With ice storms leaving hundreds of thousands from Michigan to Maine without power over Christmas, attention is turning to alternative solutions for when the grid is down. While many families are left in the dark without any backup power, some rely on gasoline-powered generators. Unfortunately, there are dangers with using gas generators that have led to several fatalities during the recent storms.
An article published yesterday in the NY Times states that “In Maine and Vermont, where state authorities described the ice storm as the worst since 1998, there were no deaths from falling tree limbs or fallen power lines. But each state reported one death from carbon monoxide from a generator run after power was lost.”
In one instance, a generator was left running in a garage, and when the owner went to refuel it in the morning, he collapsed and died from the fumes. In another case, a generator left outside caused poisonous carbon monoxide gas to be drawn in through a nearby window, causing one fatality.
The weather has also made it difficult to repair power lines, leaving many utility customers with no electricity for days on end.
The other alternative to this situation is to use solar power combined with a battery back up system. By generating power independently from the grid and storing the electricity in an integrated battery system, homeowners are able to keep the power running even in a blackout.
Battery backup systems are also far safer than gasoline powered generators. With no emissions there is no risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, and unlike gas-powered generators, which have a track record of leading to a number of fatalities, properly installed and maintained solar battery backup systems are very safe and reliable.
While not everybody deems it necessary to have power at all times, for those that would like the peace of mind that electricity will be available through any storms and outages, solar battery backup can be an ideal solution.